Cricket World Cup: What to do about the rain?

Cricket World Cup: What to do about the rain?

It has been a very wet week in the Cricket World Cup.

India’s match against New Zealand at Trent Bridge on Thursday was the fourth match of the tournament to be abandoned so far, and the third to be called off without a ball being bowled.

This has already surpassed the previous highest number of washed-out matches in a World Cup – two in 1992 and 2003.

Frustrated fans and bemused onlookers have been offering up solutions – but how feasible are they?

Build a roof

The retractable roof on Wimbledon’s Centre Court was unveiled in 2009

A common request, especially in light of Wimbledon adding a retractable roof to Court One in addition to the one over Centre Court in time for this year’s Championships.

But putting a roof over a cricket ground would be much more complex and costly – tennis stadiums are smaller and most are level, whereas cricket grounds in England and Wales have different-sized stands.

It cost an estimated £100m and £70m to build the respective roofs at Wimbledon, which crucially is also the sole location for that entire tournament.

It is unfeasibly expensive to build roofs at the 11 cricket grounds hosting a World Cup fixture, even before adding in the cost of first adapting the grounds into a shape that would hold a roof.

Cover the whole playing surface in a sheet

If you watched England’s tour of Sri Lanka last autumn you will have seen the host groundstaff sprinting to cover the entire outfield in a massive tarpaulin whenever it started to rain.

This has the advantage of preventing wet patches forming on the outfield and means it should be quicker to resume play when the rain stops – India against New Zealand never got under way, in part because of muddy areas that did not dry.

It also could prevent a match starting late because of rain on previous days. So why not invest in some big sheets?

As Cricinfo points out,