Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 July 2019

Manchester weather: How India v Pakistan became clouded by the climate

The Cricket World Cup 2019 has been badly affected by rain, leaving fans concerned ahead of the big match at Old Trafford

Any cricket follower in the UK is also a part-time meteorologist.

Matches in April require players to stuff hand warmers in their pockets, wear two pairs of socks and a pair of long-johns (known as compression tights these days).

Play is interspersed by downpours which send fielders and batsmen scurrying for cover before the sun briefly returns, only for the sky to turn dark again an hour later. Snow showers are not uncommon.

In May, the second sweater can generally be discarded for just the short-sleeve jumper.

In June, it's warming up - spectators can mostly watch in shirt sleeves but are advised to take a jumper ... and as those involved in the current World Cup have found out, a rain coat just in case.

The British climate is hit and miss at the best of times, so for fans of India and Pakistan, whose excitement is reaching boiling point ahead of their match in Manchester, there is hope not just for a positive result but to actually see some action on the pitch.

What's the forecast for India versus Pakistan then?

We'll start with the BBC weather forecast. It may have infamously been wrong about the incoming hurricane in 1987, but it's regarded as one of the most trustworthy sources in the UK.

For today it predicts light rain showers and a gentle breeze for Manchester, which is notorious for its regular rainfall. Temperatures will reach a high of 18°C.

It's hourly predictions show a bright start before it clouds over during mid-to-late morning, and then a chance of showers from 3pm through to the evening. The chance of rain is highest after 6pm, while in the afternoon it is between 17 and 40 per cent.

Another source, AccuWeather, says Sunday will be mostly cloudy with spotty showers. The real-feel will be 19°C and the chance of rain is 63 per cent. Winds will reach up to 22km/h.

Groundsmen cover the field with plastic sheets as it rains ahead of the Cricket World Cup match between India and Pakistan at Old Trafford in Mancheste on Saturday, June 15, 2019. AP Photo
Groundsmen cover the field with plastic sheets as it rains ahead of the Cricket World Cup match between India and Pakistan at Old Trafford in Manchester on Saturday, June 15, 2019. AP Photo

What are the fans saying?

They are concerned, of course, and are clinging on to any information they can find.

Twitter users have been posting a deluge of updates showing the view from their windows in proximity to the Old Trafford ground to ease fears of a washout.

Others meanwhile have trying to make light of the situation.

Even legendary Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar got involved, posting this image of the two captains almost submerged in water.

How has the weather affected the tournament so far?

It started off OK, but the weather has been the winner over the past week.

The first 10 games were completed, but then the Pakistan v Sri Lanka match at Bristol on June 7 was abandoned without a ball bowled, followed by South Africa v West Indies at Southampton on June 10, Bangladesh v Sri Lanka at Bristol on June 11 and India v New Zealand at Trent Bridge on June 13.

Saturday's match between South Africa and Afghanistan was also rain affected.

Updated: June 16, 2019 10:45 AM

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