The T20 World Cup clash between champions Australia and England was ruled out by rain on Friday, leaving both teams’ semi-final hopes hanging in the balance and disappointing fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Although the Ireland-Afghanistan match was also played at the same venue, England finished second in Group 1 among the teams with three points. New Zealand, with a game in hand, lead the group ahead of third-placed Ireland and fourth-placed Australia, but could look clear after the Black Caps beat Sri Lanka in Sydney on Saturday.
Neither of the two semi-finalists, England, Australia or Ireland, can afford to lose another match in a tournament where four of their 14 Super 12 games have been lost to rain so far.
“The outdoor area got water. It’s as wet as I’ve ever been in this stadium,” Australia captain Aaron Finch said of his pitch at the MCG. “It’s disappointing not to go, but the amount of rain was incredible.”
“It should have been a big occasion,” England captain Jos Buttler said of the game against Australia in front of a packed crowd at the MCG. “Full squad against Australia. It would be a shame not to play it.”
Australia host Ireland in Brisbane on Monday and close the group stage against Afghanistan. New Zealand and Sri Lanka are scheduled to play on Saturday. Group 2 returns to action on Sunday with Pakistan taking on the Netherlands and India taking on South Africa in Perth.