'It's a joke': Cricket world erupts over Women's World Cup 'disgrace'

India have reached their maiden Women's T20 World Cup final, despite not facing a ball in Thursday night's semi-final against England.

Torrential rain in Sydney cruelled any hopes England had of reaching the tournament decider, with the match officially abandoned shortly after play was scheduled to start.

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Play was set to get underway at 3pm AEDT in Sydney but the shocking conditions meant there was no chance of that happening.

The heavy covers remained in place at 4.08pm, when umpires gave up hope of staging an abridged contest.

Regular rules dictate a minimum of five overs per side is required to constitute a T20 but in knockout matches for this tournament it is 10 overs per side.

England's Women's T20 World Cup hopes were destroyed by Sydney's torrential rain. Pic: Getty

India were determined winners of the uncontested semi-final in lieu of the fact they topped their group.

Cricket Australia had request for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to put in place a reserve day for the semi-finals, with wet weather forecast for Thursday.

However, the sport's governing body rejected that request, meaning India were given free passage into the final.

The farcical situation - almost unheard of in other major sporting events - has left cricket lovers fuming on social media.

ICC says reserve day ‘isn’t feasible’

“The ICC T20 World Cups are short, sharp events where reserve days are factored in for the final,” an ICC spokesman 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.”

The Aussie women faced the same sorry scenario as England if their semi-final against South Africa was abandoned.

With both semi-finals scheduled to take place after one another at the SCG and the rain showing little sign of letting up, the outlook for the Australian team looked particularly grim before the match.

However, the weather Gods smiled on the host nation, with the rain easing in the evening and play only delayed by 25 minutes.

At 7.25pm (AEDT) the match was set to go ahead with the full allocation of 20 overs per side.

Like England, the Aussies finished runner-up in their group, meaning they would have been eliminated if the match was abandoned.

With AAP