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  Monday, 30 September, 2002, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Here comes the rain again
The Champions Trophy final was disrupted by rain on both days
Groundsmen try to keep the pitch dry in Colombo
After Sri Lanka and India are forced to share the Champions Trophy because of rain, BBC Sport Online's Paul Grunill explains cricket's rules on washed-out matches.

Understanding the regulations governing
rain-affected cricket matches is a gift with which only true obsessives are blessed.

The Duckworth-Lewis method evokes memories of pre-calculator days when children grimaced over slide rules.

In an attempt to simplify the situation in international cricket, the game's governing body now has a system which enables important games to be re-started from scratch.

So it was at the ICC Champions Trophy as Sri Lanka and India tried again on Monday after the previous day's final was halted by a downpour with India's innings just two overs old as they tried to score 245 for victory.

A minimum of 25 overs have to be bowled to the side batting second to constitute a match
ICC one-day rules

Sri Lanka again batted first, so by the time India began their second run chase, their players had spent 100 overs in the field in 24 hours.

Some observers were prompted to question why India could not simply have resumed from where they left off, rather than begin a completely new match.

But International Cricket Council spokesman Brendan McClements is in no doubt that the replay system is fairer.

"It's by far superior to anything else, including playing a game from where it finished the night before. That simply cannot work effectively," he told BBC Sport Online.

Reserve days

McClements contends that anything other than a complete re-start could distort the way the side batting second approaches their task.

Nasser Hussain shelters at Centurion
England know about South African rain

The worry is, however, that if the same regulations apply at next year's World Cup and the final is hit by bad weather, cricket's greatest showpiece could be replayed not once, but twice, with two reserve days already incorporated into the draft schedule.

Hardly the sort of climax Dr Ali Bacher and his organising team have in mind for a tournament which they hope will showcase everything that is good about the game and their country.

It also raises the possibility that should rain pour down on Johannesburg for three days in a row, the trophy might have to be shared by the two finalists.

A remote possibility, perhaps, but remember England's Test match at nearby Centurion in January 2000 when three successive days were lost.

"We'll be as flexible as we can to ensure there is a conclusion to the tournament," said McClements.

Rain returns

It could get even more chaotic with the prospect of reserve days for the Super Six games still being discussed, although first round group games will not be replayed.

It's standard practice in most tournaments these days that there aren't reserve days for preliminary matches because of the significant logistical efforts involved in running a tournament like that," explained McClements.

Back in Colombo, meanwhile, India managed to reach the ninth over of their innings in the second final before rain intervened again and the two sides had to share the trophy.

If they had simply resumed their innings from the previous day, the game would already have been over.

As the late Karen Carpenter once sang: "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down."

12 leading teams do battle in Sri Lanka



Pool 1

Pool 2

Pool 3

Pool 4



See also:

29 Sep 02 | Photo Galleries
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