Afghanistan fans turned out in large numbers to support their team for the T20 World Cup fixture against New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
But incessant rains on Wednesday evening forced the match officials to call off the game without a ball being bowled.
Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott admits that it would have been a great game with a huge crowd support, but he is now looking forward to Friday’s outing against Ireland.
“We have everything to play for. We have another game here on Friday afternoon against a side that has beaten England, who are one of the favourites. But this pool is unpredictable and hopefully, we can get off one on Friday and then move on to Brisbane,” Trott said.
The Group 1 is now wide open with Australia, Sri Lanka, Ireland and England all placed with one win and one loss. New Zealand also won its campaign opener against Australia, while Afghanistan is yet to win a game.
New Zealand will now travel to Sydney for its next game against Sri Lanka and coach Gary Stead agrees that things could get quite unpredictable going forward.
A digital screen displays news of the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2022 cricket match between New Zealand and Afghanistan has been abandoned due to weather at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on October 26, 2022 in Melbourne.
| Photo Credit: AFP
“What happened in the Ireland game does make it a bit unpredictable as to what might happen. It also shows that there are no easy games throughout the tournament. We have seen a number of surprises through the qualifying stage and then it goes into the main stage as well. It’s good for cricket, but it makes our game a bit unpredictable,” Stead said.
“In T20 cricket, one or two players can change the nature of the game. One or two balls or overs could change the game. For us, what happens on Friday does not have too much of a bearing as to how we go about things.
We are going to take each match as it comes and try and be clear in our planning in terms of what we plan to achieve out of the game. Then, move on quickly to the next one,” he added.