Knight hopes semi-final washout prompts rule change

England's Heather Knight (Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra)

Distraught England captain Heather Knight called on cricket administrators to ensure her side are the last team to be knocked out by rain at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

Semi-final day at Sydney Cricket Ground descended into farce as no play was possible and India progressed to Sunday’s final having finished top of Group A, with England second in Group B.

Reserve days were in place for last summer’s Men’s 50-over World Cup but not for this tournament or October’s Men’s T20 World Cup, an ICC ruling Knight wants changed. 

“There wasn’t a lot we could do and the chance to fight for a place in the final was taken away from us,” said Knight. 

“They are the rules everyone signed up to, and you hope now there’s going to be a rule change moving forward.

“We lost that first game against South Africa which ultimately cost us, but our aim was to make the semi-finals and then hopefully play our best cricket towards the end.

“We're gutted. We'll have to rue that first game and move on. It's going to be bitter pill to swallow for a few of us a while.

“You put in a lot of hard work and want to have the chance to showcase your skills on the biggest stage and in knock-out games at World Cups; there's no bigger stage than that.”

Rain fell throughout the day and a decision was made to call the game off at 16:15, all the more controversial given Australia’s semi-final against South Africa started just 25 minutes late.

It was more heartbreak for England at the T20 World Cup, still without a title since the inaugural event in 2009, having been beaten in three of the last four finals. 

Knight showed class in the face of adversity to underline the importance of big tournaments for growing the game.

“What’s happened is sad for the tournament, but I’m sure the final will be a great event whoever is there,” she said.

“The girls have been given equal billing to the boys which is outstanding. There’s disappointment but it won’t take too much shine off where the sport has gone.

“And you see if the money’s put into publicising it and putting it out there, people do want to come and watch it.”