Fri, Jul 06, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Weather scuppers England’s quest for world No. 1 ranking

AFP, BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND

England’s hopes of becoming the world’s top-ranked one-day international side during their series against Australia were ended after rain washed out the third match on Wednesday.

The match at Edgbaston was abandoned without a ball being bowled, with England 2-0 up in the five-match series.

However, England had to sweep the contest 5-0 to replace current table-toppers Australia at the head of the 50-over standings and so become the first team to be No. 1 in all three formats, with the side already at the summit of the Test and Twenty20 rankings.

The umpires had hoped to get a reduced 28-overs-per-side match underway at 6pm, but fresh rain saw them decide that the minimum 20 overs per side needed to constitute a match would not be possible and the fixture was abandoned at 6.11pm.

The washout means England cannot now lose the series.

It also meant another disappointing international match for Edgbaston, which last month saw three out of the five days scheduled for the third Test against the West Indies washed out completely.

“You just want a good day out and the people we feel sorry for are the fans,” Warwickshire chief executive Colin Povey said.

As for any economic implications, Povey added: “In terms of finance, the wash-out does not really impact on us financially.”

“Today [Wednesday] we had pretty full cover on insurance, so we had covered tickets and retail for this match because it is a big game for us, a big money-spinner, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter whether you’ve made your budget or not in a financial sense,” he said. “You want to see England stuffing Australia, and you want to see the stand rocking and people having a great time.”

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