Matches (29)
WBBL (1)
T20 WC (1)
Shield (2)
Nepal PM Cup (1)
Pro Twenty (2)
MLT (3-day) (12)
CSA 4-Day (5)
QEA Trophy (2)
PCB 4-Day (3)

Melbourne rain keeps men's T20 World Cup final on tenterhooks

A prospect of reserve day and even a shared trophy could be on the cards

Groundstaff bring out the covers on a rainy Melbourne afternoon, Afghanistan vs Ireland, ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Melbourne, October 28, 2022

Considerable rain is forecast in Melbourne on the day of the T20 World Cup final  •  AFP/Getty Images

There will be some nervous looks skywards over the coming days in Melbourne with rain threatening the men's T20 World Cup final between England and Pakistan at the MCG on Sunday, raising the prospect of the reserve day being needed and even a shared trophy.
There is currently a 95% chance of rain forecast for Sunday with between 15 and 25mm falling. "Very high (near 100%) chance of showers. The chance of a thunderstorm, possibly severe, with heavy falls possible," the Bureau of Meteorology was saying as of Friday morning.
The reserve day is allocated on Monday, but that also has an uncertain forecast with again a 95% chance of rain and falls between 5 and 10mm.
For the knockout matches in the tournament a minimum of 10 overs per side is needed to constitute a match, compared to five overs during the group stages.
The first priority will be to complete a shortened match on Sunday if required, meaning the overs will be reduced before the reserve day is activated. If the game has started on Sunday but can't be completed then it will resume on the reserve day from the position it was halted. Once the toss has taken place, the game is considered live.
If the game begins on Sunday and there is a reduction of overs but play does not have a chance to restart due to weather then the game will resume as a 20-over contest on the reserve day.
While there is only 30 minutes extra time allocated to the original day of the final, if the reserve day is used there are two hours extra available with play starting on the Monday at 3pm local time.
"If the reserve day is allocated, every effort will be made to complete the match on the scheduled day with any necessary reduction in overs taking place and only if the minimum number of overs necessary to constitute a match cannot be bowled on the scheduled day will the match be completed on the reserve day," the playing conditions read.
"If the match has started on the scheduled day and overs are subsequently reduced following an interruption, but no further play is possible, the match will resume on the reserve day at the point where the last ball was played."
If there is not enough time over the two days to achieve the minimum overs the trophy would be shared. The 2002-03 Champions Trophy between India and Sri Lanka ended in such a way although under the playing conditions at the time a new game was started on the reserve day. Both matches were abandoned at virtually the same point. In the 2019 ODI World Cup, the semi-final between India and New Zealand at Old Trafford was played across two days.
Melbourne has been badly hit by rain during this tournament with three Super 12 matches abandoned without a ball bowled: New Zealand vs Afghanistan, Afghanistan vs Ireland and Australia vs England. The England-Ireland game in Melbourne was also curtailed by rain, but Ireland were able to take a famous win on DLS.
Aside from the South Africa-Zimbabwe game in Hobart which was also a no result, the rest of the tournament has largely escaped the rain during what has been a wet start to summer across the east and south east of Australia.
The forecast was also poor leading into the India-Pakistan game at the MCG but cleared to allow a full game with the contest developing into one of the best T20 matches of all time. Organisers, players and supporters will hope the final is graced with the same good luck.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo