Australia captain Aaron Finch expects more rain to interfere at the T20 World Cup and wondered whether its impact could be limited by removing double-headers at the same venue.
The MCG was set to stage Ireland-Afghanistan followed by Australia-England on Friday but both games were abandoned, making it three washouts in Melbourne as New Zealand-Afghanistan on Wednesday was rained off.
More rain is forecast for Brisbane on Tuesday, with the Gabba set to host Afghanistan-Sri Lanka then England-New Zealand, although Australia-Ireland the day before has a low risk of weather interruption.
Finch admitted there are substantial logistical hurdles to consider but feels taking away two matches in a day at a single ground is something that could be explored by the International Cricket Council.
He said: “The reality is (rain) will impact the tournament again at some point. We can’t control that. With how condensed the schedule is, I think it’s really difficult to have reserve days for round games.
“When you have back-to-back games in the same city, if one’s washed out, as we saw the other night then both get washed out. Whereas if they were in different cities, you’d potentially get one game on.
“Is that an advantage for teams? I don’t know. All I know is a lot of planning and effort goes in from the ICC to make these tournaments go ahead.
“They’re extremely difficult to navigate through all the logistics and stuff as one nation, let alone controlling it for 16 teams. That’s an incredibly challenging position to be in.”
The tournament is being held in the Australian spring and the La Nina weather phenomenon is producing damper and cooler conditions, with Melbourne experiencing record-breaking rainfall this month.
There has been the suggestion that matches could be moved in an emergency situation away from the MCG to the Marvel Stadium, which has a retractable roof and is the home ground of Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League.
But Finch scoffed at the idea, saying: “It’s not just as easy seeing the forecast and moving the wicket over there, there’s a lot more that goes into it than that.
“But that has been an absolute belter of a wicket for the last couple of years of Big Bash. I’m sure there’s reasons behind it all.”
Finch had praise for Ireland, who have already beaten England at this tournament, and insisted Australia do not have one eye on improving the net run-rate, which is the worst in their Super 12s group and will be a deciding factor if two or more teams finish on the same total of points.
He added: “You never go into a game thinking about things like that. You have to earn the right to go after a run-rate performance. We’ve seen how damaging Ireland can be if you give them a sniff.”
Ireland are set to come up against one of the best frontline pace attacks in the world in Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins but all-rounder Gareth Delany is relishing the prospect.
He said: “We’re not coming into any of these games fearing anybody. It will be a tough challenge, but I think the guys have shown throughout this tournament that we can mix it with the best.
“Obviously Australia are the favourites, so the pressure is pretty much off us really.”