Cricket fans have erupted over the ICC's decision to host Australia's T20 World Cup clash on Friday night at the MCG, with the crucial match washed out in the Melbourne rain.
Both Australia and England will be at a disadvantage after earning a solitary point from the abandoned Super 12 stage game, leaving fans up in arms as to why the nearby Marvel Stadium, which has a retractable roof, was not used.
Ironically, very little rain fell after the scheduled 7pm start time, but umpires called off the game over concerns about wet patches in the sodden outfield.
The umpires held two further pitch inspections and promised to do another one at 8.50pm, but it never happened as a short shower came through and the covers were again placed on the MCG pitch.
Shortly after, opposing captains Aaron Finch and Jos Buttler shook hands to signal the abandonment of the match.
An earlier scheduled match at the MCG between Ireland and Afghanistan was also called off due to rain.
It comes after Wednesday's New Zealand-Afghanistan match at the MCG was abandoned, with the England-Ireland game earlier on the day that decided by the Duckworth Lewis Method after rain set in.
Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott was bemused the roofed Marvel Stadium, less than 5kms from the MCG, was not considered by the ICC for use during the World Cup.
“This is what happens at this time of year and the beginning of summers,” Trott said.
“The frustrating thing is there’s a stadium down the road that has a roof so you can play cricket there. We could have had lots of cricket.
"But it does mean the tournament is unpredictable with lots of must-win games coming up.”
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) October 28, 2022
Not scheduling even one match at @marvelstadiumau for this #T20WorldCup is a big opportunity missed. Could have been the beginning of global audience seeing more of these matches irrespective of weather play@ICC please invest in more such stadiums, for fans#AFGvIRE #AUSvENG
— Adi (@aaditea__) October 28, 2022
— Tim Michell (@tim_michell) October 28, 2022
What is this behavior @ICC dont you know the weather forecast at this time in Australia? Funny how these guys are getting top dollars and doing nothing to save the game. PATHETIC #ICCT20WorldCup2022 #T20worldcup22 #AUSvENG
— Shikhar Vashisht (@ShikharVashish4) October 28, 2022
— ⚫️⚪️ JAKE ⚫️⚪️ (@IncrediblyBozza) October 28, 2022
Australian coach Andrew McDonald, a proud Victorian, believes the MCG should always be the first option for cricket games in Melbourne.
"Everyone wants to play at the MCG, you can't predict the weather," he said.
"There's probably no better place you'd want to be playing than the MCG."
England and Australia at risk in T20 World Cup after match abandoned
The crunch game shaped as an effective eliminator for the loser after England's shock defeat to Ireland on Wednesday.
Aaron Finch's team was reeling after being thrashed by New Zealand in their opening match of the tournament last Saturday.
Fourth-placed Australia will have to win their remaining two games against Afghanistan and Ireland and rely on the Black Caps beating England to advance to the semi-finals.
England's destiny remains in their hands thanks to a superior net run rate to Australia, meaning they can move through to the final-four if they win both their matches.
"Unfortunately, to get two games affected by weather (this week), you don't want to be involved in those games, but it's going to happen wherever you play in the world," Buttler said.
"It's a shame for everybody involved, all the fans who have been come to watch this game live and everyone wanting to watch on TV.
"For players, Australia against England at the MCG in a must-win World Cup match is as big as it gets in your career.
"These are the games you want to be involved in, no matter what the result is going to be, it's something you want to experience as a cricketer."
McDonald said wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, was set to face England as his symptoms were only minor.
However, the Tasmania veteran was isolated from the rest of the squad and arrived at the MCG separately.
Legspinner Adam Zampa missed Australia's match against Sri Lanka in Perth on Tuesday but has recovered and would have returned to replace Ashton Agar in the XI.
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