Cape Town: The World Cup’s second semi-final, in Durban on March 20, will remain a day-night game.
“It’s not possible for either the Event Technical Committee or the organising committee to reschedule it as a day match and I’m glad the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is considering shelving a move aimed at requesting that change,” Dr Ali Bacher, the tournament’s executive director, told The Telegraph Thursday morning.
Speaking from his Johannesburg residence, Dr Bacher added: “The rescheduling can’t be done for some very good reasons. First, broadcasters across the world will be up in arms. Then, people have bought tickets as it’s a day-night game. Also, so many fans have scheduled their arrival keeping in mind it’s a day-night semi-final...”
The BCCI, it may be recalled, initiated a move Wednesday to “explore” the possibility of getting it rescheduled as, generally, conditions adversely affect the team batting second and India could end up playing at Kingsmead. The first semi-final, in Port Elizabeth on March 18, is a day match.
In a development late Thursday, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya both spoke and wrote to Dr Bacher, “enquiring” whether a change could be effected. Significantly, Dalmiya didn’t send any communication to the IDI Ltd., which is conducting the World Cup. Dr Bacher’s formal response need not be guessed.
Incidentally, according to Dr Bacher, of the 15 ODIs in Durban, seven have been won by the team batting first and as many by the side batting second. “One was abandoned and, so, it’s a fifty-fifty scenario,” he pointed out, adding, “in any case, there is a reserve day for all games from the Super Six onwards.”
Meanwhile, South African coach Eric Simons has acknowledged that in the lead-up to the World Cup, his team saw the Hansie Cronje factor as being “disruptive.” However, he feels it didn’t eventually affect the side.
Still, Simons’ comments in Thursday’s edition of Cape Times are interesting: “When we had our camp in Drakensburg, we sat down in groups and put down on paper every single issue that we felt could be disruptive to our World Cup campaign. Hansie was obviously one of those.
“There were some players who were very close to him. There were others who were bitter about what he had done and, then, there were those who hardly knew him as they had not played under him... But it did not cause any problems as we had worked our way through it.”
It’s for the first time, of course, that somebody has come forward with the “bitter” bit.