Rain-affected Vijay Hazare Trophy games to be rescheduled
Elite Group A league matches washed out by rain in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019-20 have been rescheduled, with similar changes expected for rain-affected Group B games.
ESPNcricinfo has confirmed that the Group A league phase, played in Bengaluru, will now run until October 16. It was originally scheduled to end on October 13, with the knockouts - also in Bengaluru - starting from October 20.
Overall, 17 of the 30 matches scheduled over the first three days ended with no result, with this year's tournament being severely affected by rain, particularly in Bengaluru and Vadodara, the venues for Groups A and B. Under the new points system, the top five teams across both groups combined will qualify for the quarter-finals, leaving teams to feel the pinch of lost game time. Group C matches have been held as scheduled in Jaipur, where the weather has stayed clear. Plate Group matches in Dehradun have also had to deal with some rain and it is likely these, too, will be rescheduled.
"We are working on the rescheduling and it should be done soon," BCCI general manager Saba Karim told ESPNcricinfo. "We want to have as many matches as possible. Three of the groups were affected, A, B and D due to unseasonal rains, so we're looking at how to accommodate those. The matches in Jaipur have gone on smoothly."
The new group A schedule, which ESPNcricinfo has seen, will have matches on October 2 and 8. These days had been previously designated as rest days, under the old schedule, with no games across the competition. This move has accounted for all six matches that were washed out without a ball being bowled: Mumbai v Saurashtra, Andhra v Chhattisgarh, Hyderabad v Karnataka, Mumbai v Jharkhand, Hyderabad v Goa and Kerala v Chhattisgarh.
Matches in Group A will be held on 12 of the 19 days between September 28 and October 16, with room for further readjustments if needed. It is likely that a similar format will be followed for Group B, whose league games were also originally scheduled to end on October 13. The weather conditions and forecast in Vadodara are poorer than they are in Bengaluru though, so the possibility of some rain-affected results despite rescheduling remains.
ESPNcricinfo understands there was a meeting between the team managers of Group A in Bengaluru with BCCI officials on Thursday evening, where the rescheduling was discussed, though all teams were not in favour of it. But, with the BCCI taking a decision, the new schedule was finalised by Friday mid-morning.
The tournament began on September 24, and over the first three days, there wasn't a single completed Group B match in Vadodara. All matches scheduled on September 24 and 26 were abandoned without a ball bowled, while three matches played on September 25 began but were later abandoned.
In Bengaluru, six matches were washed out on the first two days. The first match of the group took place on September 26, when Karnataka took on Jharkhand. It was also the league's first match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, where the sub-air drainage system makes it possible for the ground to withstand heavy rainfall and still get a full game in. The other two games in Bengaluru were also completed, though they were truncated.
Dehradun has had one no-result each on both days that play had been scheduled.