Reserve day for India vs Pakistan game – ‘You are looking at a disaster,’ says Arjuna Ranatunga

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Criticising the decision to add a reserve day for the Asia Cup Super Four match between Pakistan and India – the only game in the tournament apart from the final to get the advantage – after the tournament had started, Arjuna Ranatunga has warned that favouring one team (read India) over others will put international cricket in peril.

“You take the Asia Cup. You have rules before the tournament, but before that one game, they changed the rules,” Ranatunga was quoted by PTI as saying at an interaction with members of the media. “Where is ACC? Where is ICC? I am not very comfortable when you have a tournament where you change rules for one team. You are looking at a disaster in the future.

“I feel very sad for ICC and ACC because they just want to hold the positions. Former cricketers too don’t open, simply because they need the bucks.”

The Asia Cup had started on August 30, and the marquee Pakistan vs India contest on September 2 produced no result after rain forced the match to be abandoned after one innings. That match was hosted in Pallekele. The playing conditions were then changed on September 8, two days before the Pakistan vs India Super Four game in Colombo, giving that game a reserve day.
At the time, Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and Sri Lanka coach Chris Silverwood had expressed their surprise at the update. “I haven’t seen this kind of thing in another tournament, this changing rules in the middle of the tournament,” Hathurusinghe had said at a press conference, while Silverwood had said, “It was a little surprise when I first heard [that].”

“I won’t be surprised if they change the rule before the India-Pakistan game [at the upcoming ODI World Cup],” Ranatunga went on. “ICC will keep their mouth shut and say ‘okay, do it’. ICC just talks rubbish, nothing happens.”

Ranatunga said world cricket should not be governed by one board or individual, and that other boards should stand up for their rights.

“Why do the other countries allow that to happen,” Ranatunga said. “Because the BCCI is powerful, or one particular person is powerful. No, it can’t happen like that. They should have given an extra day for all the games if that was the case.”

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