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Sunday, June 23, 2024  
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Rain washes out England-Pakistan T20 opener

Match was meant to be launchpad for reigning champions England's defence next month of their T20 World Cup title
No play today: Fans, draped in Pakistan flags, watch as groundstaff attempt to clear rain water from the pitch ahead of the 1st T20 between England and Pakistan at Headingley. AFP
No play today: Fans, draped in Pakistan flags, watch as groundstaff attempt to clear rain water from the pitch ahead of the 1st T20 between England and Pakistan at Headingley. AFP

Persistent rain saw the first Twenty20 international between England and Pakistan at Headingley on Wednesday abandoned without a ball being bowled.

The match was meant to be the launchpad for reigning champions England’s defence next month of their T20 World Cup title in the Caribbean and the United States.

But a heavy and lengthy downpour in Leeds led the umpires to call the game off approximately an hour before the scheduled 1730 GMT start.

The four-match series against Pakistan, the team England beat to win the 2022 T20 World Cup final in Melbourne, will now continue at Birmingham’s Edgbaston ground on Saturday before games next week in Cardiff and at the Oval.

England were also the defending champions heading into last year’s 50-over World Cup in India but Jos Buttler’s men suffered a tame exit, losing six of their nine matches.

The Pakistan T20 series could see the return to international duty of England fast bowler Jofra Archer. Injuries have blighted the quick’s career, with elbow and back problems sidelining the 29-year-old from top-level cricket for 14 months.

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