Advertisement

England, Pakistan undercooked for T20 WC after wash-out

Australia are set to face an underprepared England side when the old rivals meet in the T20 World Cup in Barbados on June 8.

Shaken by their appalling defence of the 50-over competition, in India late last year, England fixed up a warm-up series against Pakistan to build cohesion and finalise plans.

They even pulled their players out of the closing stages of the Indian Premier League to help their readiness. That robbed Phil Salt of the chance of appearing in the final for winners Kolkata Knight Riders, and Jos Buttler, Will Jacks and Reece Topley the opportunity to help their teams in the play-offs.

However, rather than being warmed up England look like being undercooked after a second washout in three matches.

Having had the series opener in Leeds washed off without a ball being bowled, play in Cardiff was called off just after 8.10pm on Tuesday with rain having fallen steadily in the Welsh capital an hour before the scheduled 6.30pm start. The afternoon had been dry.

England managed a 23-run victory at Edgbaston in the match that was played, and will hope for a hit in the final match of the series at The Oval on Thursday. However, the forecast for London is poor.

England's opener is now less than a week away, a potential banana-skin match against Scotland in Barbados on June 4. The last  time the countries met, in a 50-over ODI in 2018, Scotland won. Australia are England's subsequent opponents.

Pakistan will also be concerned. They face a tricky opener against the United States hosts in Dallas on June 6, then the titantic clash with bitter rivals India in New York three days later.

Not that the US will necessarily be ready. Their match against Bangladesh scheduled for Tuesday was called off due to damage to the Dallas venue caused by the storms that have ravaged Texas.

A spokesperson from the International Cricket Council said fencing and scaffolding at the venue had been affected but "nothing that materially impacts the staging" of the World Cup.