Heather Knight urges ICC to re-think reserve days as England exit T20 World Cup

Captain Heather Knight says she hopes the ICC will introduce reserve days into future tournaments after England were knocked out of the Women’s T20 World Cup by rain.

England were eliminated at the semi-final stage when their clash with India was washed out without a ball bowled – India progressing to Sunday’s final by virtue of finishing top of Group A.

REPORT: England out after washout

With no reserve day scheduled, Knight and her team were powerless to influence the tournament any further as heavy rain fell at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“We’re very frustrated,” Knight told Sky Sports. “There’s not a lot we can do, I guess. It has rained a lot and to not have the chance to fight in the final is very gutting, I guess, but it is what it is.

“Hopefully there will be a rule change and another side won’t have to go through this.

“It’s the rules, I guess, that were signed up to at the start of the tournament; it’s just frustrating really, because it could have been avoided. You just hope that now it’s brought into the game in the future.

“That’s what usually happens, isn’t it? It needs something to go wrong and something to be not quite right to get that rule changed. Hopefully it does change but that’s up to the ICC.”

Knight admitted England’s tournament-opening defeat to South Africa had come back to haunt them.

England suffered a six-wicket reverse to South Africa in Perth last month, meaning they finished second behind the Proteas in Group B – a position that proved their undoing.

“It’s not how we wanted the World Cup to finish for us but there’s not a lot we can do, to be honest,” she said.

“Not having a reserve day has meant we’ve no chance of getting play but ultimately that first game and that first loss against South Africa has cost us.

“Our aim was to get to the semi-finals, which we did, and obviously you feel like you’re in a knockout [game] but it’s not to be with the weather.

“It’s all very English – talking about the weather and getting knocked out. It’s very frustrating that we haven’t had that chance to fight for a place in the final.

“It felt like we’d gained a bit of momentum over the last few games and we were really ready for this semi-final and really pumped up and ready to go, but there’s nothing we can do. Cricket hasn’t been the finisher for us but that’s frustrating.”

England rallied from their defeat to South Africa by winning their next three games, against Thailand, Pakistan and West Indies and went into the semi-final stages boasting the top two leading run-scorers in the competition in Nat Sciver (203) and Knight (193).

In spinner Sophie Ecclestone, who had taken eight wickets at just 6.12 runs apiece, they also had the number-one ranked T20 bowler in their side – the spinner having forged a strong alliance with the emerging talents of Sarah Glenn and Mady Villiers.

“I think they’ve been outstanding – Sarah Glenn in particular has been a real find for us,” said Knight.

“We’ve had Sophie around in the team for a few years and we’ve known what we can do but to bring on Sarah as well, we’ve created a real partnership and with Mady coming in as well – it has been outstanding the way that she has taken to international cricket. Her character has been great. There are some really good signs for the future there.

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“Not starting too great has become a bit of a theme for us and it has cost us in this competition; it’s something that we’re definitely going to have to look at. Our batting has been ok but there are obviously areas we can improve on there but we really felt like we were coming into some form.

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