Tuesday 5 August 2008 

Final Qualifying Game Abandoned Due To Rain

The ICC World Twenty20 Qualifying final between Ireland and the Netherlands in Belfast was abandoned due to persistent rain.

The two sides had already qualified for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 by virtue of qualifying for the final and the no result meant they shared the trophy.

Ireland won a delayed toss and chose to field first but could not get onto the field of play to begin the match.

Ground staff twice began to remove the covers but each time the rain returned, denying the two sides another match to increase their experience of the shortest form of the game ahead of next year's World Cup.

Scotland are all set to join them in England if, as expected, Zimbabwe do not participate in the competition.

If Zimbabwe opts not to ratify its earlier decision taken at the Annual Conference to step back from the tournament, Ireland will join England and Pakistan in Group B and the Netherlands will form Group D with South Africa and New Zealand.

However, if Zimbabwe confirms it won’t play, Ireland will take Zimbabwe’s place in Group A (with India and Bangladesh), the Netherlands will ease into Group B (with England and Pakistan) and Scotland, which defeated Kenya in the third and fourth-place play-off on Monday, takes a position in Group D (with South Africa and New Zealand).

"Obviously it is disappointing because as a cricketer, you want to go out there and try to give your best performance instead of sitting in the dressing room and waiting for the match to start," Dutch captain Jeroen Smits said.

"As an Associate team, we would like to play as many Twenty20 matches as possible and when one match is washed-out, it’s an opportunity lost.

"But as it has panned out, we are joint-winner and a winner is a winner. So I am happy."

Earlier in the day, Canada beat Bermuda by eight wickets to finish fifth and Kenya lost out to Scotland to finish fourth yesterday.

© Cricket World 2008