/ Money, Travel & Leisure

If the cricket’s rained off, can I get my cash back?

Cricket bat and ball

It’s been a great summer of Ashes cricket so far. The sun’s been shining and England are up against the Aussies. But what happens if it rains at the remaining test matches? How would you get your money back?

I was faced with this problem four years ago. It rained all day at Edgbaston and I didn’t see a ball bowled. And at Headingley, the game didn’t stretch to the fifth day I’d bought a ticket for. But thankfully, I managed to get a refund for both days.

This is how the test match ticket refund system works – on days one to four of a test match, if you see 10 overs or less, you’ll be able to get all of your money back. And if you see between 10.1 and 24.5 overs you’ll be able to claim half of the ticket cost. But if you see 25 overs or more, then there won’t be a refund for any lost play. These refunds are organised by the England Cricket Board (ECB). Day five refunds are organised by the host grounds themselves.

Rain refunds aren’t automatic

However, refunds aren’t automatic and if you were rained on all day you’d better hope you didn’t get your ticket wet. To get a refund you’ll need to send your ticket to the address published on the back. If you do this within 28 days, you should receive a cheque refund.

At present, around 90% of ticketholders make claims this way. This still leaves thousands more who are entitled to refunds. In fact, cricket supporters could be missing out on claiming up to £176,000 per day in rain refunds at Ashes test matches this summer.

But wouldn’t it be easier if the ECB could organise automatic refunds for all ticket holders?

The ECB has told me that it’s considering moving to an automatic refund system for international games. There are apparently hurdles to overcome first; some tickets are bought in person at the grounds using cash, so there’s no way of returning a refund payment in cases like these.

Still, thousands of tickets are sold online which should make it easier for refunds to be paid to most ticket holders. So if we’re owed a refund and the cricket authorities know who we are, how we paid and how to contact us, why can’t they refund us automatically?


As I write this at home the rain is persisting down in a torrential storm but at Old Trafford play is continuing unhindered by troublesome weather, so good news for ticket-holders there [for the time being at least]. The price of tickets to sporting events has rocketed over the last decade, and our summer sports are most at risk from rain, so spectators are right to feel that a fair refund system is justified when a significant amount of play is lost. Wimbledon can shut the lid on top matches, but the glorious and inscrutable game of cricket is infinitely sensitive to prevailing climatic conditions, so a drop of rain is in the price . . . up to a point!