The Women’s T20 World Cup courted fresh controversy on Thursday after India progressed through to the final with their semifinal against England getting washed out without a single ball being bowled. There was no reserve day for the match and as per tournament’s rule, in such a scenario, the team which had finished higher at the end of group stages was granted qualification into the final. A similar moment was about to take place in the 2nd semifinal of the day between South Africa and Australia, with rain continuing to cause an interruption at Sydney Cricket Ground. But luckily for the fans, the rain stopped and a result was attained in the match – Australia beat South Africa by 5 runs to reach the final.
Speaking to reporters at the post-match press conference, South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk said that she preferred the outcome than reaching final without playing out the match. “I have to give credit to the ground staff; they did absolutely everything to keep us on the park. And we are here to play cricket. I’d rather lose than get a free pass into the World Cup final,” she said.
Commentator Harsha Bhogle, on Friday, reacted to van Niekerk’s remarks and said that the players are not given a choice to decide whether they want to play or get a free pass. In a reaction to a tweet made by a fan praising van Niekerk’s remarks, Bhogle wrote: “Except that it isn’t your choice whether to play or get a free pass!”
Except that it isn’t your choice whether to play or get a free pass! And it isn’t really a free pass but a qualification for playing well in the group stage. https://t.co/VSA9n61wJd
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 5, 2020
He further argued that it is not really a free pass. “And it isn’t really a free pass but a qualification for playing well in the group stage,” he wrote.
An unbeaten run in the group stage propelled India into their maiden Women’s T20 World Cup final against defending champions Australia after their last-four clash against England was washed out on Thursday, prompting both captains to say that reserve days are essential for knockout clashes.Persistent rain since morning delayed the toss and eventually the semifinal was called off without a ball being bowled, taking Indians into the summit clash and leaving England players in tears.
India will take on four-time winners Australia, who defeated South Africa by five runs in what was also a rain-hit semifinal match, curtailed to 13 overs after Australia’s innings. The two teams will clash on Sunday, which also happens to be International Women’s Day.
(With agency inputs)