Brisbane — Wet and wild cyclonic weather in the so-called Sunshine State was threatening to wash out Australia’s World Cup Pool A match against Bangladesh on Saturday, meaning the four-time champion Australians may have to share the competition points.
The category-5 Cyclone Marcia crossed the coast on Friday about 600 kilometres north of Brisbane but started to lose intensity, quickly downgraded to a category-3 and was expected to reduce further as it tracked south.
All the news before the weather took priority focused on Michael Clarke and his fitness test. After missing the opening 111-run win over England, the Australia captain was set to return against Bangladesh at the Gabba.
Speculation on how his return from hamstring surgery in December would change the lineup — with most critics predicting stand-in captain George Bailey would lose his spot in the middle order — dissipated in the deluge.
“The forecast is obviously not great but to be honest our main focus is on the people of Queensland,” Clarke said on Friday. “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. We will worry about the cricket tomorrow.”
The Queensland state premier and local mayors urged people to stay indoors and avoid flooded roads and creeks, and more than 100,000 sandbags were filled and handed out to people in low-lying areas in Brisbane. Some residents had lost electricity, major airlines canceled flights and the Australian cricketers trained indoors.
Football Federation Australia postponed Friday’s A-League match between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory… see more