Australia v Bangladesh, World Cup 2015, Group A, Brisbane February 20, 2015

Grim outlook for Gabba match

Mashrafe Mortaza inspects the outfield at the Gabba on Friday © AFP

If the sky hasn't quite fallen in on Brisbane, there has been more than enough rain to place Saturday's fixture between Australia and Bangladesh at the Gabba in grave doubt.

An A-League football match scheduled for Friday evening at Suncorp Stadium has been called off, while the southern hemisphere rugby body SANZAR was also debating whether or not to cancel a Super Rugby fixture set for Saturday night at the same venue.

Given that neither football nor rugby need cricket's rain-free weather to take place, the prospects for Brisbane's only glimpse of the home team at this tournament look very grim indeed. Australia's captain Michael Clarke, due to return on his February 21 deadline to prove he has recovered from hamstring surgery, was thinking primarily of the Queenslanders currently having their homes battered by the dual cyclones Marcia and Lam.

"Our main focus as a team is with the people of Queensland," Clarke said. "So as much as we would like to get out on that field and continue our form in the World Cup, we need to realise how bad this cyclone is and care most about the people of Queensland, make sure everybody is healthy and safe and our prayers are with a lot of people throughout the State.

"Then we'll worry about the cricket tomorrow. If we get on, we'll be 100% ready there's no doubt about that."

Australia have chosen an XI for the match and shared the news with the team on Thursday afternoon, but Clarke declined to announce it lest a shortened fixture tempt the selectors to reconsider. In addition to Clarke for George Bailey, Pat Cummins was in contention to replace Josh Hazlewood. Clarke wanted his men to remain optimistic about getting on the pitch, having seen the Gabba's highly efficient drainage at work in the past.

"I spoke to the boys briefly about that in our team meeting yesterday," he said. "The fact that I've seen it a number of times in my career when you look outside the window, especially in Brisbane, and it looks like you're not going to play. I think we saw that against England in the first Ashes Test as well, and then an hour later you're on the field so I think that's credit to the people that look after the ground here.

"The drainage facility here is as good as anywhere in the world. My mindset and the team's mindset is to make sure we're as well prepared as we can be, and then tomorrow our mind is the game is going to go ahead. Up until we're told that the game is off, we're expecting to play. Whether that's a 50-over game or a Twenty20 doesn't bother us. We are, and will be, as well prepared as we can be."

The World Cup's local organising committee released a statement on Friday afternoon concerning doubts over the match going ahead.

"ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 organisers are working closely with authorities in Queensland regarding tomorrow's match between Australia and Bangladesh given the extreme weather situation in the State and the forecasts for ongoing rain in Brisbane," a spokesman said. "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. The ICC match officials will make a decision on the match tomorrow based on conditions at the time. A match can be successfully completed if each side has minimum of 20 overs which means that it is still possible to achieve a result with a start after the scheduled innings break."

A no-result would be a considerable boost to Bangladesh's chances of progressing from Group A, particularly after England's dismantling by New Zealand in Wellington on Friday.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

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