IPL 2017: Rain rule, schedule under the scanner

BENGALURU: Both teams criticised the late-night drama that ensured after rain played havoc with Wednesday’s Eliminator. For over three hours, the fortunes of Kolkata and Hyderabad were at the mercy of the rain gods. Hyderabad were a trifle more relaxed of the two teams. If rain had the final say, their passage to Qualifier 2 was clear. They had a point more than their opponents, even a win more than them. The Hyderabad think-tank of VVS Laxman, Tom Moody and Muttiah Muralitharanmade a couple of more trips to the ground than their counterparts each time skies cleared.

However, the newly-installed sub-air technology at the M Chinnaswamy stadium ensured play finally got under way, and eventually the defending champions were knocked out of the competition.

Hyderabad bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan was quick to add that it was the truncated duration that upset their plans. “We didn’t expect it to rain. The wicket is not great to play shots, we would’ve been bowled out for 70-80. We prefer 20 overs. It’s all about destiny.”

As KKR pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile walked in for the post-match press conference, there was little in his expression which suggested he was in a celebratory mood. Instead, he showed all signs of a fatigued player who would rather have gone to bed at that hour: 1.51 am.
Coulter-Nile wasn’t amused about the late finish. “They were all (his KKR teammates) playing French cricket or something. I was actually trying to get some sleep in the chair and telling them to shut up. No one really got nervous till they went for that last look at 12.30. It sort of looked like that they didn’t want to play. But yeah, there was so much time. It’s 2 o’clock. Rules probably need to be looked at. You can’t play cricket at 2!” The delay and late night finishes do the players no favour and without the provision of a reserve day for a knockout match like the Eliminator, the pressure is enormous on both the teams. From a spectator point of view too, it is far from being friendly.

Sunil Gavaskar pointed out that even if SRH had the best bowling attack it would have been impossible to defend a total of 48 with 10 wickets in hand. IPLgoverning council chairman Rajiv Shukla admitted that late-night finishes were a concern. “The late-night finishes are a concern. Shah Rukh has tweeted about the option of a reserve day. We will weigh all options and the IPL governing council will look into it,” he said.

Playoffs need to have a reserve day: SRK

┬áKOLKATA: KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan on Thursday expressed his displeasure at the IPL play-offs not having a reserve day in case of a washout. “Glad (to be) on the winning side tonite. But play offs need to have an extra day in case of an abandoned match. Ami KKR onwards with @GautamGambhir,” he tweeted.


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