Bangladesh and Sri Lanka Take Satirical Dig at India-Pakistan Reserve Day Allocation

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The Asia Cup, a premier cricketing event, has sparked a debate over fairness as it introduces a reserve day for only one of the six Super Four matches. The designated encounter receiving this privilege is the much-anticipated showdown between arch-rivals India and Pakistan, scheduled for September 10th. The decision to introduce a reserve day for this marquee clash has been met with mixed reactions, raising concerns about potential competitive imbalances within the tournament. 

Reserve Day Confirmation

Speculation about a reserve day for the India-Pakistan clash had been circulating since the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) opted not to relocate the remaining matches from Colombo to Hambantota. A recent notification addressed to ticketholders has now confirmed this addition. 

According to the advisory issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board, the tournament host, “If adverse weather suspends play during the Pakistan vs. India game, the match will continue on September 11, 2023, from the point it was suspended. Ticket-holders are advised to hold on to their match tickets, which will remain valid and will be utilized for the reserve day.” 

When the tournament fixtures were initially announced, only the final match was allocated a reserve day. The decision to grant a reserve day exclusively to the India-Pakistan clash has raised concerns about potential disparities. This uneven distribution of reserve days may provide undue advantages to both teams if adverse weather conditions affect most of the Super Four stage matches. 

Disquiet Among Participating Teams 

The selective allocation of reserve days has not gone unnoticed by the other two participating teams in the tournament – Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. While acknowledging the decision, the head coaches of both teams chose their words carefully, considering the influence of the ACC, whose president, Jay Shah, also serves as the Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and the PCB, which is hosting the tournament. 

Chandika Hathurusingha, the head coach of the Bangladesh team, expressed his views on the matter, saying, “I have not seen anything like this earlier. This is something new. It’s not ideal. We would love to have an extra day as well. Other than that, I don’t have much to comment on because they (the technical committee) have made a decision. There is a technical committee (in Asia Cup) represented by every participating country. They might have decided it for some other reason.” 

Chris Silverwood, the head coach of the Sri Lankan team, adopted a more cautious approach, stating, “Little surprised when I first heard, but at the same time, we are not the organizers of the competition, so not a lot we can do about that. To be honest, it will be a problem if the reserve day then provides points to the teams and not someone else, but nothing we can do about it, so we keep preparing and do the best we can.” 

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