London: The International Cricket Council on Monday announced that there would be no reserve days for rain-affected matches in the preliminary round of the World Cup.
In a joint statement, the ICC and the World Cup Organising Committee said the decision was taken by the ICC Executive Board keeping in mind logistical necessities.
“The ICC World Cup 2003 is a significant logistical challenge. The tournament is taking place in three countries, at 15 venues over 43 days. For this to be managed effectively, the schedule needs a degree of certainty in the first round,” said ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed.
However, reserve days will still apply to matches from the Super Six stage, beginning March 7 and the two semi-finals on March 18 and 20.
For the final at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on March 23, two reserve days have been set aside.
World Cup executive director, Dr Ali Bacher, also said the reason to scrap the reserve days in the preliminary round was based entirely on logistical necessities.
“Everything, including hotel accommodation, air-travel and satellite television time, would have had to be double booked to accommodate these reserve days,” Bacher said.
“Logistically for the teams, their supporters, the local and overseas media and the organisers this created several potential risks to the tight schedule and had the potential to disrupt the remainder of the tournament,” he said.
“In the end, there was little option but to move away from the reserve days for the first round,” Bacher said.
For the preliminary matches, to be played between February 9 and March 4, points will be shared if no result is possible on the day of the match. Also the Duckworth-Lewis system of recalculating target scores in rain-affected matches will be used in all matches in the World Cup.