Australia captain Aaron Finch was left disgruntled after rain denied his team the chance to complete what seemed a likely victory in the first T20I against Pakistan in Sydney on Sunday (November 3). The source of his discontent was the time allotted for the innings changeover – which remained at the usual 20 minutes even after rain had interrupted Pakistan’s innings, with the forecast being for more showers later.
Chasing a revised target of 119 in 15 overs, Australia had dashed off to 41/0 from 3.1 overs with Finch himself going all guns blazing. The hosts were already ahead of where they needed to be after five overs, but fell 11 balls short of what would’ve been a complete game.
Under the ICC playing conditions, the power rests with the match-referee who could reduce the innings-break to 10 minutes at their discretion: “… following a lengthy delay or interruption prior to the completion of the innings of the team batting first, the Match Referee may, at his discretion, reduce the interval between innings from 20 minutes to not less than 10 minutes,” so goes Clause 11.4.2.
In this case however, Javagal Srinath – the man in question – didn’t exercise that option which could’ve provided enough time for those 11 balls.
“If you’re cutting overs off the game and you still have a 20-minute break it doesn’t make much sense to me,” Finch said in a post-match interview with Fox Sports. “When you lose a few overs and then you still have a 20-minute break… I thought that was really interesting. But it’s part of the rules and you can’t do much about it.”
Vice-captain Alex Carey said that Australia had even enquired the match-officials on the changeover with rain around. “We asked the question on what the changeover would be, and it remains the same. It’s disappointing to be so close to what might have been.