Melbourne: With England and Pakistan -- the Men's T20 World Cup finalists -- firmly committed to seeing the spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and the global audience get to enjoy the summit clash later on Sunday amid the threat of inclement weather, the ICC has decided to further extend the playing time by one hour.
Heavy rain is predicted later on Sunday in Melbourne and the forecast is bleak for the reserve day on Monday as well.
On Saturday, England coach Matthew Mott had affirmed that his side will do everything possible to play and not have to share the trophy because of the prediction of rain. "We'll do everything we can to play, I don't think any of us would like to be joint winners. I think there's an appetite from both teams that we'll have to crack on at some point, but you never know, it could be complete sunshine here and we get the full game in, which would be awesome. That's what the fans deserve as well," said Mott.
On Sunday, cricket's global governing body said, "The ICC have displayed their commitment to ensuring a result is achieved in the Final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup by securing an extension to the permitted operating hours at the MCG for Sunday's clash between Pakistan and England, meaning tournament officials have been able to further extend the playing time.
"Tournament officials have now been able to add an additional hour of extra time for play to be held at the MCG on Sunday night, meaning a total of 90 minutes is now available should any play be lost," said ICC.
That means play can continue up until midnight local time, should any additional extra time be required on Sunday. Players and officials were greeted with a beautiful sunny morning in Melbourne on Sunday, although clouds have slowly started rolling in ahead of the scheduled first ball at 7:00pm local time.
The ability to finish the match on Monday's reserve day (November 14) is still available to event organisers, although every effort will be made for the match to be completed on Sunday. If the match is to be completed on the Monday then the match will resume at the point where the last ball was played, but this will only be utilised if the match cannot be completed on Sunday.
"If at any time the umpires together agree that the conditions of ground, weather or light, or any other circumstances are dangerous or unreasonable, they shall immediately suspend play, or not allow play to start or recommence. The decision as to whether conditions are so bad as to warrant such action is one for the umpires alone to make, following consultation with ICC Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle," said the ICC.