2024 T20 World Cup: Reserve day dilemma for teams playing second semifinal

The schedule for the T20 World Cup in the US and the Caribbean seems a little odd owing to the potential for a tight turnaround between the semifinals and the final. With the two semifinals slated for June 26 and 27, and the final set for June 29, it can potentially be a close call, with one team having to play semifinal and final on consecutive days.

It could be well argued that such a scenario is a long shot given that June is a month of summer in the Caribbean but the fact is that the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Cricket West Indies (CWI) have scheduled reserve days. There may, well, be a little abnormal scenario.

Should the second semifinal spill over to the next day (June 28), the winners of the contest will have to play the final in less than 24 hours. Additionally, they will have to travel from Providence in Guyana to Bridgetown in Barbados in that period. More pertinently, the affected team could be India if they go on to reach the title clash.

As per the schedule, India are to play their semifinal on June 27 at 8.30 pm IST (if they qualify). A CWI official said the ICC are also in control of the playing regulations for the tournament and the West Indies board cannot comment. Cricbuzz reached out to the ICC for a reaction. Through a March 15 media release, it did, though, confirm the reserve days for the last three games of the 55-match tournament.

“It was also confirmed during the meetings that ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 would have reserve days scheduled for the semi-finals and final,” the ICC said through a media release after a board meeting. Should such a scenario emerge, the ICC may have to move the final to its reserve days, June 30. But it has not stated this in as many words as yet.

The World Cup kicks off on June 1.

It is an unprecedented situation as there were sufficient gaps between the reserve day of the second semifinal and the final in the previous global events. In the last year’s World Cup in India, the second semifinal between South Africa and Australia was played on November 16 and the final was on November 19 in Ahmedabad.

In the last Twenty20 World Cup in 2022 in Australia, the second semifinal, between India and England, was played on November 10 and the final was on November 13. If one were to go further back, the second semifinal of the T20 World Cup in 2021 in UAE was played between Pakistan and Australia on November 11 in Dubai with the final between Australia and New Zealand at the same venue on November 14. Never before in recent years was the semifinal and the final so closely scheduled.

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