England’s game against Australia in doubt due to persistent showers

England’s bid to get back to winning ways at the T20 World Cup against Ashes rivals Australia might be scuppered by persistent showers at a gloomy MCG.

Having suffered a shock defeat in a rain-affected match against Ireland at the same venue on Wednesday, England were looking to revive their hopes of a top-two finish in the Super 12s on Friday evening.

Defeat for either England or Australia, both of whom have won and lost once in their two tournament fixtures so far, would likely end their hopes of progressing to the semi-finals.

But the inclement Melbourne weather could offer both a reprieve for now, with Ireland’s game against Afghanistan abandoned without a ball bowled on Friday afternoon as the rain never abated.

By the time the England-Australia toss was supposed to take place at 6:30pm local time (8:30am UK), the covers remained on the outfield as a light drizzle continued to fall.

There will be a pitch inspection at 7:30pm (9:30am UK), with the ground believed to be heavily wet under foot, meaning a significant clear-up is needed before the players can take to the field.

Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie said: “I’d be very doubtful if there’s a game played this evening, it’s so wet out there.

“Tonight’s game will probably be abandoned unless there’s a sun somewhere up there. It will be all to play for, for all the teams next week.”