The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has recently unveiled a contingency plan for the much-anticipated India-Pakistan clash during the 2023 Asia Cup. In a statement released on Friday, the ACC announced the official allocation of a reserve day for the Super 4 match between India and Pakistan. Originally scheduled for Sunday, September 10th, this decision comes in response to weather forecasts predicting a substantial likelihood of rain on the initially planned date, raising concerns about potential disruptions to the full match.
The ACC's statement confirms, "As part of the schedule for the Super 11 Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 match between India and Pakistan, set to occur on September 10, 2023, at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo, a reserve day has been included."
"In the event that adverse weather conditions lead to a pause in the India vs. Pakistan match, the game will resume on September 11, 2023, from the point of suspension. In such a scenario, ticket-holders are advised to retain their match tickets, as they will remain valid for use on the reserve day."
It's worth noting that this much-anticipated clash between the arch-rivals is the sole Super 4 game to have a reserved day. Despite looming rain forecasts in Colombo for the upcoming week, reports indicate that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the official hosts of the tournament, initially considered the possibility of relocating the Colombo matches to Hambantota. However, the ACC subsequently clarified that the matches would proceed as originally scheduled in Colombo. The PCB expressed their concerns about the decision-making process in a letter to ACC President Jay Shah but ultimately agreed to the decision.
Rain Threatens to Disrupt Play Once Again?
The previous encounter between India and Pakistan in Kandy was marred by rain, allowing only one innings to be played before the match had to be abandoned. India had posted a total of 266 runs but was unable to return to the field for bowling due to persistent rain.
Furthermore, there is a looming threat of rain affecting the India-Pakistan match scheduled for Sunday, with precipitation expected to have as high as a 90% chance of occurrence.
Should the weather improve, the Indian team management will be keen to see their bowlers gain valuable time on the field against a formidable opponent. India's premier fast bowler, Jasprit Bumrah, who missed the Nepal fixture due to the birth of his child, may potentially make his comeback to the playing XI for this highly anticipated Colombo clash. All eyes will also be on batter KL Rahul, who arrived in Sri Lanka earlier this week and participated in net sessions ahead of India's Super 4 campaign.