Rain deciding T20 World Cup finalists would be unfair – Charlotte Edwards

Former England captain Charlotte Edwards believes it would be “totally unfair” for rain to decide who progresses to the Women’s T20 World Cup final.

England face India in the first semi-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground but Thursday’s forecast makes for grim reading, with heavy rain forecast.

If the elements prevail and there is no result, then because there is no reserve day in place India would progress as they topped Group A while England were runners-up in Group B.

England are relying on the rain to stay away at Sydney (David Davies/PA)
England are relying on the rain to stay away at Sydney (David Davies/PA)

While Edwards accepts England will ultimately rue finishing second behind South Africa – who will go through at Australia’s expense if their last four encounter later in the day at the same venue is scuppered – she has called for a review into the rule that allows group winners to go through in case of bad weather.

“England will be kicking themselves they didn’t top the group,” Edwards told Sky Sports News. “It’s going to be a disappointing day tomorrow for all involved.

“It has to be looked at in my opinion. This is a massive event for all of the players.

“There’s the opportunity for the players to play in front of 90,000 people at the MCG (in the final) on Sunday and, to have the four best teams going into the semi-finals, it just seems totally unfair.

“If I was playing now it would be such an awful situation because you train so hard for these events. I guess rules are rules and let’s hope this storm misses us, but it doesn’t look like it will.”

Heather Knight, Edwards’ successor as England skipper, insists her side will be adjustable in the event the skies clear long enough for any type of game to go ahead – truncated or otherwise.

“We’ll have a chat about what our strategy is, we’ll be quite clear about how we want to do things but we’ll have to be flexible,” she said in quotes on the International Cricket Council’s website.

“A lot of us have played in rain-reduced games before and it’s all about who switches on the fastest, who adapts very quickly and who ultimately performs in that short space. It can be quite manic if it is a rain-reduced game.

Heather Knight is wary of the threat of Poonam Yadav, pictured (Rick Rycroft/AP)
Heather Knight is wary of the threat of Poonam Yadav, pictured (Rick Rycroft/AP)

“The good thing about our team is that we’ve got a lot of variety, a lot of different skillsets bowling and batting, so we feel like we can adapt to any situation we’re thrown in to.

“You just have to focus on the job you’ve got to do, focus on winning ball by ball and trying to keep really calm, really clear and really simple.”

If there is any play, Knight admitted England will be wary of leg-spinner Poonam Yadav, who has taken nine wickets in the tournament, including a haul of four for 19 in India’s surprise win over Australia.

Knight added: “She’s a massive threat for them and is an improved bowler since the last World Cup, so for us to be successful, we’re going to have to play her and all their spinners well. That’s going to be key in the game.”