England's T20 World Cup preparations hit by second washout in three games

England's T20 World Cup preparations hit by second washout in three games

England’s T20 World Cup preparations met another bump in the road on Tuesday as their series with Pakistan was hit by a second washout in three games.

As with the planned opener at Headingley last week, the Third T20 was abandoned without a ball being bowled at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens.

Unlike in Leeds, the players at one stage made it onto the field for light warm-ups in the drizzle ahead of a 6:30pm scheduled start. Heavier rain returned into the evening and, despite a brief promising interlude of dry weather, eventually the game was called off at 8.15pm.

England had summoned their Indian Premier League stars back early from their stints at the franchise competition in the hope of playing a competitive four-match series with a full, first-choice squad going into their World Cup defence in the USA and Caribbean.

So far, however, they have managed just one outing, with Jos Buttler’s 84 from 51 balls leading his side to a comfortable 23-run victory in Birmingham on Saturday.

The final opportunity for pre-World Cup fine-tuning comes in the final game of the series at Kia Oval on Thursday evening, though the weather forecast for that game is also worrying. England fly to the Caribbean on Friday ahead of their opening game against Scotland in Barbados on June 4.

Buttler was due to miss the game in Cardiff as his wife, Louise, is expecting their third child. Sam Curran was in line to come into the side in his place as part of a rejigged batting line-up. Jofra Archer was also set to be rested following his international comeback at Edgbaston, with Mark Wood slated to play as the express quick having recovered from a minor knee issue.