Rain meant no play was possible in Melbourne ©Getty Images

Today's Men's T20 World Cup doubleheader at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) was washed out without a ball being bowled.

The dual abandonment is a blow to organisers, who had hoped it would be a banner day for the tournament as hosts and defending champions Australia were due to face England in a loser-goes-out clash.

Ireland - fresh from a shock win over the English - and Afghanistan were also due to play in the latest installment of an intriguing rivalry between the two newest full International Cricket Council (ICC) members.

Persistent rain at the MCG led the umpires to call off both matches without the toss taking place.

Although rain eased before the Australia-England match, the outfield was deemed unsafe.

Each team gets one point as a consequence of the washouts.

England, Ireland and Australia all now have three points in Group 1, but appear in that order on net run rate.

Afghanistan have seen back-to-back matches rained off and have two points at the foot of the table.

Australia, the defending champions, face an uphill battle to qualify and because their net run rate is so low, must in all likelihood better England's results to qualify.

They will hope New Zealand do them a favour and beat both England and Ireland.

There has now been no result because of rain in four matches this ICC Men's T20 World Cup.

The La Niña weather phenomenon, which has also caused serious flooding in Victoria, has been blamed for the abnormal levels of rain and spate of washouts.