Ireland and Pakistan depart T20 World Cup as Florida rain has final say

Co-hosts USA qualify for the Super Eights after game against Ireland was abandoned without a ball being bowled

Match officials inspect the outfield before the T20 World Cup match between the USA and Ireland in Lauderhill, Florida. The game was eventually abandoned. Photograph: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Ireland are out of the T20 World Cup as Florida’s week of record rainfall ensured their clash with the USA was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

Having lost their first two games, to India and Canada in New York, Ireland needed to beat the Americans and Pakistan on Sunday to keep any chance of progression through to the Super Eights alive. However, after the skies opened in Lauderhill, the no result guarantees qualification for the USA alongside table toppers India.

Ireland and Pakistan will still meet on Sunday, a dead rubber now with both sides mathematically out of the running for progression.

All week, southern Florida has been battered by stormy weather, casting serious doubt on Ireland’s fixtures. Tuesday’s match between Nepal and Sri Lanka at the Broward County Stadium fell foul to the weather as Fort Lauderdale recorded new records for daily rainfall. A state of emergency was declared, with flood warnings encouraging locals not to leave their homes.


Wednesday and Thursday also saw the area hit by storms, ruining any chance for the ground to dry out ahead of Friday’s game. The original start time of 10.30am local time was pushed back almost as soon as officials arrived at the ground.

Hourly inspections took place at 11.30, 12.30 and 1.15 as the outfield was given as much time as possible to dry. The western part of the ground, an area which is made up of different soil than the rest of the outfield, was the issue, with puddles there requiring significant attention from the ground staff.

During the 1.15 inspection, a lightning warning sent officials searching for cover. Soon after, the heavens opened and official confirmation came that the game was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

The result and USA’s progression is a significant fillip for cricket in this part of the world and indeed tournament organisers. In their quest to engage the American market in the sport, a lengthy and successful campaign from the USA will now surely draw in more eyeballs given the novelty factor. As the tournament has progressed, outlets such as the New York Times and The Athletic have had more of a presence in press boxes. By qualifying for the Super Eights, the USA has also guaranteed their spot in the next T20 World Cup in 2026.

Ireland, for their part, will travel home on Monday after the last dead rubber against Pakistan. Friday’s washout effectively brings to an end a bizarre, underwhelming campaign where one poor performance conspired with factors beyond the team’s control to send them home early.

Despite pre-tournament chatter that this was one of the best T20 sides put forward by Ireland in recent years, having to bat first on a shambolic pitch against an Indian outfit they were unlikely to beat anyway saw them off to an inauspicious start last week. A below-par display against Canada was a significant blemish, but then to travel to Florida during the region’s rainy season requiring two wins always posed an element of risk.

After they fly home, Ireland’s next outing will be at the end of July when they welcome Zimbabwe for a rare Test match in Stormont.

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist