Australia game in real doubt

State capital Brisbane is due to stage the co-hosts’ second Pool A game in the early hours of Saturday, but the city has been battered by rain as tropical storms his north-east Australia.

A 20-over match is the minimum requirement for a positive result, and there is a real possibility of a washout that would see the points shared.

Bangladesh have beaten the Aussies just once in 19 one-day internationals, and a ‘no result’ would be an unexpected blow to the favourites’ chances of finishing top of the group.

A statement from the International Cricket Council read: “We are working closely with authorities in Queensland regarding the match between Australia and Bangladesh, given the extreme weather situation in the State and the forecasts for ongoing rain in Brisbane.

“Our thoughts are with the people affected. However, as there is no reserve day for pool matches, we will continue to prepare in the hope that the match can go ahead.”

Gabba groundsman Kevin Mitchell was less optimistic, saying:??”Obviously with the forecast of the cyclone moving down the coast it doesn’t look that great. You are always hopeful but it is not promising.”

Australia are preparing for every possibility nonetheless, and returning captain Michael Clarke revealed he and the selectors have a number of possible line-ups in mind.

“We have selected a team but I am not going to announce it because it could change if the game’s format changes,” he said. “That gives the selectors options. It wouldn’t be smart to announce it right now.”

Clarke is due to play for the first time since his hamstring injury and says he is “100 per cent confident” he can perform at his maximum with the bat and in the field.

But cricket is a secondary concern given the seriousness of the storms. He said: “The forecast is obviously not great but to be honest our main focus is on the people of Queensland.

“As much as we would like to get out on the field and continue our form I think we need to realise how bad this cyclone is and hope that everyone is healthy and safe.”

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