MELBOURNE — The highly-anticipated Group 1 clash between Australia and England in Super 12 of Men’s T20 World Cup on Friday was washed out due to rain without a ball being bowled at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.
Earlier in the day, another Group 1 match between Ireland and Afghanistan was also abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain. Now, just like Afghanistan and Ireland split points, England and Australia will now share points from Friday’s washout.
The toss for the clash, which was supposed to be at 6:30pm Melbourne time, was delayed ahead of an inspection at 7.30pm local time. There were hopes that a truncated match would happen as covers were taken off, as the fans saw a glimmer of hope.
But, with player safety being a priority and the outfield being visibly damp, umpires Chris Brown, Joel Wilson and Aleem Dar decided to have another inspection at 8:15pm. With conditions not changing much, a third inspection was scheduled later on.
But just 20 minutes before the scheduled inspection would happen, rain returned and eventually led to the match being called off as captains Aaron Finch and Jos Buttler shook hands. Australia and England were awarded one point each and now join table-toppers New Zealand and second-placed Ireland on three points in the Group 1 points table.
“The outfield was drenched, it was as wet as I have ever seen it. I think the run-ups were an issue and the inner circle. It comes down to player safety. If you are trying to run out there, it was going to be a real issue,” said Finch later on.
The next match from Group 1 will be played between New Zealand and Sri Lanka on Saturday at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with the winner of the clash having a chance to be on top of Group 1.
England’s next match in the tournament will be against New Zealand at The Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday, with Australia facing Ireland on Monday at the same venue. — (IANS)