England’s Twenty20 World Cup campaign ended in disappointing fashion, without a ball being bowled as persistent rain caused the abandonment their semi-final against India in Sydney.
ICC regulations dictate that in the event of a semi-final washout, the winners of each group automatically go through to the final in Melbourne on Sunday. England, having finished second to South Africa in their group, are therefore out of the tournament. India, meanwhile, who have had an unbeaten run over the past two weeks, progress to their first T20 World Cup final.
The day’s second semi-final, Australia against South Africa, is also in doubt, with the forecast for ongoing rain until 10pm AEDT. That match would need to begin by 8.51pm local time in order to fit in the necessary 10 overs a side which the ICC’s tournament playing conditions dictate is the minimum requirement for a semi-final encounter (the usual requirement in T20 cricket is for a minimum of five overs per side).
England’s hopes of a spot in the World Cup final were therefore effectively ended almost two weeks ago, when they lost their opening match of Group B against South Africa by six wickets. Captain Heather Knight had previously described the likelihood of a washout as “frustrating”, but added: “It’s our own fault for losing that game against South Africa. We didn’t top our group and only have ourselves to blame.”
The ICC has already drawn widespread criticism over the lack of a planned reserve day for the semi-finals. Both the women’s 50-over World Cup in 2017 and the equivalent men’s event in 2019 had reserve days in place for the semis.
“The ICC T20 World Cups are short sharp events where reserve days are factored in for the final,” an ICC spokesperson said. “Allowing for any other reserve days would have extended the length of the event, which isn’t feasible. There is a clear and fair alternative should there be no play In any of the semi-finals with the winner of the group progressing.”