Questions galore for ICC as India and Canada share spoils in wet Lauderhill

India enter Super 8 stage with three wins. (PC:

The International Cricket Council probably expected a bang, when they announced the United States as a co-host for the ongoing T20 World Cup. Unfortunately, the American leg of the tournament is ending with a whimper.

On Friday, the game between the US and Ireland in Florida was called off due to rain and a wet Lauderhill outfield. On Saturday, the game between India and Canada suffered the same fate, as the match was abandoned without a ball bowled. It didn’t rain on Saturday, but the underfoot conditions were still wet enough to be deemed risky. The teams expectedly didn’t want to risk injuries. So, after three inspections, umpires Richard Kettleborough and Sharfuddoula decided to lower the curtain.

Yesterday’s game was a high-stakes affair and the abandonment saw the US reach the Super Eights, at the expense of Pakistan. Today’s fixture was virtually a zero-stakes affair, with India already through to the Super Eights and Canada out of the tournament. But the way the ICC managed the whole thing in Florida, it reeked of incompetence.

This is Florida’s wet season and over the last four days, the state received 27 inches of rain. The least that the ICC and the local cricket authorities could have done was to ensure that the entire outfield at Lauderhill was covered. Rain was beyond anybody’s control, but covers were controllable. Four giant dryers were used to dry out the surface. It was an exercise in futility. As a source close to the Indian team said tongue in cheek on the match eve: “The sun needs to shine all night for the match to happen.”

The ICC’s attempt to make cricket popular in America over 16 matches of the T20 World Cup hasn’t quite worked out. In New York, the pitches were dodgy and the outfield wasn’t up to the mark. In Florida, ground management let the organisers down. If the game’s governing body was hopeful that cricket could finally make inroads into a lucrative and populous American market, it didn’t make a good start. In fact, it’s a long and arduous journey. To put things in perspective, the Major League Soccer was founded in 1993, and 31 years down the line, soccer is still not the most popular sport in America – far from it – despite Lionel Messi plying his trade there.

The washout didn’t allow India to try a few different combinations before their Super Eights fixtures. It also denied Virat Kohli a chance to find some runs ahead of the important assignments. But it’s an experienced team and the team management will not read too much into that. Rohit Sharma and his troupes will now take a flight to Barbados where they play their first Super Eights game on Thursday, against Afghanistan.