Australian captain Aaron Finch expects more rain to fall during the T20 World Cup and wondered if its impact could be mitigated by removing double-headers in the same venue.
The MCG was about to play Ireland-Afghanistan, followed by Australia-England on Friday, but both games were called off, making it three washouts in Melbourne as New Zealand-Afghanistan was rained out on Wednesday.
More rain is forecast for Brisbane on Tuesday, with the Gabba hosting Afghanistan-Sri Lanka and then England-New Zealand, although Australia-Ireland has a low risk of weather interruptions the day before.
Finch admitted there are significant logistical hurdles to consider, but believes eliminating two matches a day on one site is something that can be explored by the International Cricket Council.
He said: “The reality is that (rain) will affect the tournament again at some point. We can’t control that. With how tight the schedule is, I think it’s very difficult to have spare days for round games.
“If you have back-to-back games in the same city, if one is washed away, as we saw last night, then both are washed away. Whereas if they were in different cities you might be playing one game.
“Is that an advantage for teams? I don’t know. All I know is that a lot of planning and effort is put into the ICC to keep these tournaments going.
“It’s extremely difficult to navigate through all the logistics and stuff as one country, let alone control it for 16 teams. That is an incredibly challenging position to be in.”
Held in the Australian spring, the La Nina weather phenomenon brings damper and cooler conditions, with Melbourne experiencing record-breaking rainfall this month.
It has been suggested that in an emergency, matches could be moved from the MCG to the Marvel Stadium, which has a retractable roof and is the home of Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League.
But Finch scoffed at the idea, saying: “It’s not that easy to see the prediction and move the wicket there, there’s a lot more to it than that.
“But that’s been an absolute belter of a wicket for the last few years of Big Bash. I’m sure there’s a reason behind it.”
Finch praised Ireland, who already beat England in this tournament, and insisted that Australia had no eye on improving the net run rate, which is the worst in their Super 12s group and will be a deciding factor if there is two or more teams finish on the same total number of points.
He added: “You never go into a game thinking about that kind of thing. You must earn the right to go after a run-rate achievement. We’ve seen how harmful Ireland can be if you smell it.”
Ireland will face some of the best frontline pace strikes in the world in Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, but all-rounder Gareth Delany is relishing the prospect.
He said: “We don’t get into any of these games for fear of anyone. It’s going to be a tough challenge, but I think the guys showed in this tournament that we can do it with the best.
“Obviously Australia is the favourites, so the pressure is really on us.”