Rain-threat on Akhtar’s mind ahead of Indo-Pak clash

New Delhi: Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has joked that rain may reign supreme in the marquee World Cup clash between India and Pakistan in Manchester on Sunday.

Akhtar tweeted a photo where India skipper Virat Kohli and Pakistan counterpart Sarfaraz Ahmed are swimming their way to the pavilion after toss with the rest of the experts standing on a boat. Yuvraj Singh, known to have a good sense of humour, retweeted the pic.

The World Cup match between India and Pakistan is scheduled to take place at Old Trafford. Rain could play spoilsport like it has been in four of the World Cup matches so far.

Predictions are that it will be overcast throughout the day, with rainfall expected as the day progresses.

India and Pakistan will be meeting for the seventh time in a World Cup on Sunday. On all the six previous occasions, the Men in Blue have turned victorious.

The ICC has said in a statement that it will be a logistical mayhem to keep reserve days for games in the group stage.

“Factoring in a reserve day for every match at the World Cup would significantly increase the length of the tournament and practically would be extremely complex to deliver,” ICC Chief Executive David Richardson had said in a statement a few days back.

“It would impact pitch preparation, team recovery and travel days, accommodation and venue availability, tournament staffing, volunteer and match officials’ availability, broadcast logistics and very importantly, the spectators who in some instances travel hours to be at the game. There is also no guarantee that the reserve day would be free from rain either.

“Up to 1,200 people are on site to deliver a match and everything associated with it, including getting it broadcast, and a proportion of them are moving around the country. So reserve days in the group stages would require a significant uplift in the number of staff,” he added.