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Jos Buttler fears T20 World Cup could become farce as England vs Australia off despite stadium with roof being down road

JOS BUTTLER fears the Twenty20 World Cup is plunging towards farce with the weather having as much impact as playing ability.

Captain Buttler was speaking after England’s blockbuster showdown against Australia in Melbourne was washed out.

The rain has made England’s World Cup test harder and contributed to Ireland loss earlier this week

It was the fourth successive match in Australia’s sporting capital to be affected by rain.

England lost to Ireland by five runs under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method on Wednesday and the Aussie washout still means they must beat New Zealand and Sri Lanka in their final two Super 12s matches to have a chance of reaching the semi-finals.

The integrity of the tournament has already been compromised and it is perhaps no coincidence that only six international cricket matches had ever previously been scheduled outdoors in Australia before the start of November.

Of course, nobody can predict rain and organisers have been unlucky but wet weather patterns created by La Nina have been anticipated in Australia for months.

So perhaps the 44,000-capacity indoor Docklands Stadium in Melbourne could have been a back-up. It is frequently used for Big Bash T20 games.

October is on average the second-wettest month of the year in Melbourne and, as we know, the greed of administrators packing in tournament after tournament normally outweighs common sense.

Don’t forget, the previous T20 World Cup was in the UAE less than a year ago.

Apart from the India v Pakistan match, crowds have been disappointing, too, because there is no tradition of cricket being played in Australia in October.

Buttler admitted: “It’s tough. Afghanistan have had two games washed out in a tournament where you potentially play only five matches.

“It’s frustrating for all of us. Is there something you could look at – I don’t know if you could elongate the tournament, for example?

“I’m not sure what the perfect format is. It’s quite a ruthless format as it stands, which we know and accept. But if multiple games are affected by the weather, it doesn’t give a true reflection of how you’d hope the tournament would play out.”

Buttler added: “The umpires had some big concerns about the conditions and rightly so. The outfield was very wet and there were some areas inside the 30-yard circle that weren’t fit to play.

 “We all want to play cricket but it has to be safe and it certainly wasn’t. The right call was made. We play an open-air sport and the elements are a huge part of what makes it unique.

It’s New Zealand up next for Jos Buttler and England

 “It’s a shame for everyone. Australia v England at the MCG in a must-win match is as big as it gets in your career. You don’t know how often those opportunities will come around.”

Afghanistan’s last two matches have been abandoned without a ball bowled and team coach Jonathan Trott – England’s Ashes-winning former run machine – is baffled why matches are not being switched indoors.

Trott said: “This is what happens at this time of year and the beginning of summers.

“The frustrating thing is there’s a stadium down the road that has a roof so you can play cricket there. We could have had lots of cricket. But it does mean the tournament is unpredictable with lots of must-win games coming up.”

England next face New Zealand in Brisbane on Tuesday and play the final match in Group One against Sri Lanka in Sydney next Saturday.

That could give Buttler’s team an advantage because they might know exactly what they have to do in terms of net run-rate to reach the semi-finals.

But first they must beat New Zealand.