Cyclone Threatens Australia's Bid for a Sixth ODI World Title
Cyclone Threatens Australia's Bid for a Sixth ODI World Title

Australia’s quest for a record-extending sixth Cricket World Cup title faces an unexpected obstacle – not from their opponents, but from the looming threat of adverse weather conditions in the sub-continent. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a warning about a developing cyclonic circulation in the south Andaman Sea, originating from the Gulf of Thailand that is set to hit the shores of India in midweek.

The semi-final clash between South Hemisphere rivals The Proteas and The Aussies is scheduled to take place at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday morning. However, the cyclonic conditions are expected to develop in the lead-up to the much-anticipated clash and have raised concerns about the impact of the weather system on this blockbuster World Cup encounter. The current forecast indicates a 60% chance of rain on Thursday, but perhaps more worryingly, this is expected to increase further to 90% on Friday.

As it stands, the ICC have set Friday aside as a reserve day in the event the match is washed out the day before. However, if rain disrupts the match on Thursday, Friday is unlikely to be any better, with conditions expected to worsen at the end of the week. If a result cannot be recorded in the match, South Africa will advance to the finals due to their superior net run during the group stage. As it stands, Australia are the current favourites according to the most updated odds by the bookmakers, and cricket lovers can keep on top of all the developments leading up to the semi-finals, as well as the final, thanks to the best 2024 approved betting sites by Sportytrader. You will also be able to keep up to date with ball-by-ball live coverage and expert predictions for all the upcoming cricket action leading up to the New Year, including England’s tour to the West Indies, the Big Bash League and the SA20, 2024.

The IMD further reports that a low-pressure system is expected to form over the southeast Bay of Bengal by Tuesday, and the latest IMD-GFS model forecasts the formation of a cyclone by November 15, with North Odisha and West Bengal potentially in its path. As a result, the match in Kolkata’s iconic Eden Gardens on November 16 faces a significant risk of being washed out.

South Africa, therefore, could find themselves on the cusp of history this week as they aim for their first-ever Cricket World Cup final appearance. The Proteas have faced heartbreak in the semi-finals on four previous occasions, ironically including rain denying them a chance to chase down England’s total in 1992 while they lost to Australia in 1999 and 2007. The match’s reserve day on November 17 provides a potential backup option if the game is not played on the scheduled date, while the Duckworth-Lewis method will be utilised to determine the winner if there is sufficient play on either day. In the event of both semi-finals facing washouts, teams advancing to the final will be decided based on their higher standing in the group stage points table.