Today’s ODI between Ireland and Sri Lanka was abandoned without a ball bowled due to heavy rains and a wet outfield.
For Sri Lanka, I think this means very little. In fact, they probably welcomed the unforeseen day off in the middle of a very long tour.
But for Ireland – while not catastrophic – it is very, very unfortunate. This was their last ODI against world class competition until next year’s World Cup (they play three ODIs against Sri Lanka A in August and three more against Scotland in September). And while we can all agree that one match in May is not going to have a huge influence on results a year from now, it is still one less ODI against top competition, and will have – at least – a nominal affect on how Ireland perform in Australia in 2015.
But more than that, it’s a financial blow. Ticket sales = gone. Advertising revenue = gone. Concession revenue = gone. Ad infinitum. I have no idea what the actual dollar figure is – but I can only guess that Cricket Ireland stands to lose tens of thousands of pounds. At minimum.
Now, surely, Cricket Ireland took out insurance on this match – I know my nonprofit takes out “snow” insurance on our annual fundraising gala – but even if they did, it’s probably only pennies on the dollar. Enough to cover costs at most.
And so to sum it all up: Cricket Ireland loses out on invaluable revenue needed to development its program, Ireland’s cricketers miss out on the opporuntity to hone their skills against the world’s best, Ireland’s cricket supporters were unable to see their boys play against top notch competition on home soil, and cricket followers around the world were unable to tune in and watch the live stream (which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but for all intents and purposes that stream was going to be a global advertisement for Irish cricket.)
All because of a little rain.
And this begs the question: why wasn’t a makeup day put on Sri Lanka’s tour calendar? It would have solved all of the above problems, and it seems like such a simple solution that I can’t believe no one thought to include it, and so I can only assume that somewhere along the line it was objected to by one party or another. The ICC? Sri Lanka Cricket? Cricket Ireland!?
Again, I am not sure of answer to the above. Whether it was the ICC, the Big Three, Sri Lanka or Cricket Ireland itself doesn’t matter, however. What does matter is that World Cricket has failed an Associate nation. Again. For the millionth time. And that’s the real tragedy in all of this.