Skip to Content Facebook Feature Image

England wins to leapfrog Scotland into Super Eight stage

Sport

England wins to leapfrog Scotland into Super Eight stage
Sport

Sport

England wins to leapfrog Scotland into Super Eight stage

2024-06-16 14:38 Last Updated At:14:40

NORTH SOUND, Antigua (AP) — England's defense of the Twenty20 World Cup title is still alive after a must-win over Namibia in a rain-affected match, followed by a helping hand from traditional rivals Australia later on Saturday.

To reach the Super Eight, England first had to beat Namibia in their maiden T20 matchup. Persistent showers almost ruined the chance, but the match started three hours late and was reduced to 11 overs, then 10 overs after another heavy shower.

More Images
Scotland's captain Richie Berrington, right, reaches out to make his ground as Australia's Adam Zampa watches during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

NORTH SOUND, Antigua (AP) — England's defense of the Twenty20 World Cup title is still alive after a must-win over Namibia in a rain-affected match, followed by a helping hand from traditional rivals Australia later on Saturday.

Scotland's Chris Greaves dives to make his ground during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St. Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Scotland's Chris Greaves dives to make his ground during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St. Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Travis Head bats during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Travis Head bats during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Marcus Stoinis bats during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St. Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Marcus Stoinis bats during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St. Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Glenn Maxwell is out bowled during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St. Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Glenn Maxwell is out bowled during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St. Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Scotland's Chris Sole drops a catch during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Scotland's Chris Sole drops a catch during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Tim David bats during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Tim David bats during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cricket fans attend an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Namibia and England at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Cricket fans attend an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Namibia and England at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Liam Livingstone hits a six against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Liam Livingstone hits a six against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Adil Rashid looks on after bowling against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Adil Rashid looks on after bowling against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Jonathan Bairstow plays a shot against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Jonathan Bairstow plays a shot against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Harry Brook bats against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Harry Brook bats against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

India's Rishabh Pant, second left, sign autographs before the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India was called off due to wet outfield at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

India's Rishabh Pant, second left, sign autographs before the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India was called off due to wet outfield at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

India's Virat Kohli reacts after the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India was called off due to wet outfield at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

India's Virat Kohli reacts after the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India was called off due to wet outfield at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

India's Rishabh Pant, third right, plays with a soccer ball with teammates and members of support staff after wet outfield delayed the start of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

India's Rishabh Pant, third right, plays with a soccer ball with teammates and members of support staff after wet outfield delayed the start of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Players of team Canada pose for photographs with India's Virat Kohli, third right, after the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India was called off due to wet outfield at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Players of team Canada pose for photographs with India's Virat Kohli, third right, after the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India was called off due to wet outfield at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

England's Mark Wood, left, and Harry Brook sit on the dugout waiting for the rain to stop prior to an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match against Namibia at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Mark Wood, left, and Harry Brook sit on the dugout waiting for the rain to stop prior to an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match against Namibia at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Rain delays the start of an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Namibia and England at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Rain delays the start of an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Namibia and England at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Indian team head coach Rahul Dravid, left, speaks to the players ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Indian team head coach Rahul Dravid, left, speaks to the players ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Indian fans in traditional attire react to the camera as they wait for the start of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Indian fans in traditional attire react to the camera as they wait for the start of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Indian team head coach Rahul Dravid, right, speaks to captain Rohit Sharma ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Indian team head coach Rahul Dravid, right, speaks to captain Rohit Sharma ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The pitch area is seen covered ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The pitch area is seen covered ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

England was made to bat first and rallied to 122-5.

Namibia, given a rain-adjusted target of 126, managed only 84-3 and lost by 41 runs.

England did what it had to, then had to wait a few more hours and hope Scotland lost to Australia in Saint Lucia to be sure of advancing from Group B.

Australia, which had already qualified from Group B, were made to work but eventually overpowered Scotland in a five-wicket win to give England the result it needed to progress to the Super Eight.

England was anxious for most of the day, thanks to the weather. It had already suffered one washout — its opener against Scotland — and a second washout in four group games would have sent it home.

Because of what was at stake, the umpires waited as long as possible at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium to get play underway.

England lost the plot early. Only one run was taken from the opening over bowled by 39-year-old David Wiese; captain Jos Buttler was bowled for a duck by fast bowler Ruben Trumpelmann; and Wiese returned to nick out the other opener, Phil Salt.

England was 13-2 after 13 balls.

Jonny Bairstow and Harry Brook counterattacked. Bairstow made 31 off 18 balls just before the last rain delay. Brook finished with an unbeaten 47 off 20, and had late support from Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone, who both contributed to taking 21 runs off the last over.

Namibia's chase was relatively fast but not fast enough. Opener Michael van Lingen, after 33 off 29, was pulled out under the pretense of retiring hurt, and Wiese inserted to up the run rate. He duly delivered 27 off 12 but it was too late.

It was the last international for allrounder Wiese, captain Gerhard Erasmus said. Wiese started with South Africa in 2013 but after five years off he debuted for Namibia in the 2021 T20 World Cup and was invaluable. “Inspired us to new heights,” Erasmus said.

At Gros Islet, St Lucia, Group B leaders Australia were made to work hard in its maiden T20 matchup against Scotland before it rallied late to win by five wickets.

After England’s 41-run victory over Namibia in a rain-affected match earlier Saturday saw it jump into second place in the group standings, Scotland knew it had to beat Australia to advance to the Super Eight.

Scotland were made to bat first and built a competitive 180-5.

Australia were on the backfoot for most of its innings until some big-hitting from Travis Head (68 from 49 balls) and Marcus Stoinis (59 from 29 balls) seized back momentum in the late overs and saw the Aussies home.

Scotland seeking to make the playoff stage of a T20 World Cup for the first time started brightly with George Munsey (35 off 23 balls) and Brandon McMullen (60 off 34 balls) getting Scotland off to a brisk start after Michael Jones was bowled by Ashton Agar in the first over.

Captain Richie Berrington kept the scoreboard ticking for the Scots with an unbeaten 42 off 31 balls, but Australia’s closing bowlers off Nathan Ellis, Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa restricted Scotland from getting closer to the 200 run total they looked like achieving for most of the innings.

Australia’s reply started shakily with David Warner out for one in the second over caught in the deep off Brad Wheal.

Captain Mitch Marsh never got going in his brief innings of eight off nine balls before he was Safyarn Shariff’s first wicket as Australia fell to 34-2 in a subdued powerplay.

Glenn Maxwell was then bowled by a brilliant offspin delivery from Mark Watt as Scotland’s hopes of reaching the Super Eight round were raised.

Scotland's bowlers were mostly disciplined in their line and length as they restricted Head and Stonis from finding the acceleration they needed to chase down the 181-run target.

But the match turned quickly in the 16th over when Head hit three sixes off Sharif (2-42) before he holed-out looking for another. Stoinis found another boundary off the final ball of the over to raise his half-century off 25 balls as Australia plundered a game-changing 24 runs.

Now needing 36 runs off the final four overs, Tim David (24 off 14 balls) made light work of the chase with a string of boundaries to finally end Scotland’s hopes of a famous victory and a spot in the Super Eight stage at England’s expense.

Australia topped Group B with eight points from four matches, with England leaping into second place on five points and ahead of Scotland on net run rate.

The India-Canada game in Florida was abandoned without a ball bowled.

The outfield in Broward County Stadium was too wet for play, and the match was called off only an hour after its scheduled morning start.

While there was light rain on Saturday morning, the outfield was damp from Friday showers which led to a second straight abandoned game at the venue. The United States-Ireland game on Friday never started. Pakistan and Ireland are scheduled to play at the ground on Sunday.

While the teams waited for a decision, India’s Rishabh Pant and coach Rahul Dravid went to the boundary to sign autographs, and Virat Kohli posed with some of the Canada players.

Unbeaten India had already qualified for the Super Eight as the Group A winner. Canada finished group play with only a precious win over Ireland.

India starts the Super Eight against Afghanistan on Thursday in Barbados.

AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket

Scotland's captain Richie Berrington, right, reaches out to make his ground as Australia's Adam Zampa watches during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Scotland's captain Richie Berrington, right, reaches out to make his ground as Australia's Adam Zampa watches during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Scotland's Chris Greaves dives to make his ground during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St. Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Scotland's Chris Greaves dives to make his ground during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St. Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Travis Head bats during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Travis Head bats during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Marcus Stoinis bats during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St. Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Marcus Stoinis bats during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St. Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Glenn Maxwell is out bowled during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St. Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Glenn Maxwell is out bowled during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St. Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Scotland's Chris Sole drops a catch during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Scotland's Chris Sole drops a catch during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Tim David bats during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Australia's Tim David bats during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Scotland, at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cricket fans attend an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Namibia and England at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Cricket fans attend an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Namibia and England at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Liam Livingstone hits a six against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Liam Livingstone hits a six against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Adil Rashid looks on after bowling against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Adil Rashid looks on after bowling against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Jonathan Bairstow plays a shot against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Jonathan Bairstow plays a shot against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Harry Brook bats against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Harry Brook bats against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

India's Rishabh Pant, second left, sign autographs before the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India was called off due to wet outfield at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

India's Rishabh Pant, second left, sign autographs before the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India was called off due to wet outfield at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

India's Virat Kohli reacts after the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India was called off due to wet outfield at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

India's Virat Kohli reacts after the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India was called off due to wet outfield at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

India's Rishabh Pant, third right, plays with a soccer ball with teammates and members of support staff after wet outfield delayed the start of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

India's Rishabh Pant, third right, plays with a soccer ball with teammates and members of support staff after wet outfield delayed the start of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Players of team Canada pose for photographs with India's Virat Kohli, third right, after the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India was called off due to wet outfield at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Players of team Canada pose for photographs with India's Virat Kohli, third right, after the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India was called off due to wet outfield at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

England's Mark Wood, left, and Harry Brook sit on the dugout waiting for the rain to stop prior to an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match against Namibia at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England's Mark Wood, left, and Harry Brook sit on the dugout waiting for the rain to stop prior to an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match against Namibia at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Rain delays the start of an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Namibia and England at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Rain delays the start of an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Namibia and England at Siv Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Indian team head coach Rahul Dravid, left, speaks to the players ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Indian team head coach Rahul Dravid, left, speaks to the players ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Indian fans in traditional attire react to the camera as they wait for the start of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Indian fans in traditional attire react to the camera as they wait for the start of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Indian team head coach Rahul Dravid, right, speaks to captain Rohit Sharma ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Indian team head coach Rahul Dravid, right, speaks to captain Rohit Sharma ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The pitch area is seen covered ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The pitch area is seen covered ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Canada and India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Fla., Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Next Article

Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas steps down to become EU's top diplomat

2024-07-15 17:28 Last Updated At:17:30

HELSINKI (AP) — Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has stepped down as the leader of the Baltic country to become the foreign policy chief of the European Union later this year.

Kallas, Estonia’s first female prime minister, handed in her formal resignation to President Alar Karis during a brief meeting at the Presidential Palace in the capital, Tallinn, on Monday.

Estonia under Kallas has been one of Europe’s most vocal backers of Ukraine following the full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022. She replaces Josep Borrell of Spain, who has served as the EU foreign policy chief since 2019.

Summing up Kallas’ 3 1/2 years at the helm of the nation of 1.3 million, Karis was quoted as saying by the Baltic News Service that “it has been a time full of crises, the milestones (such as) the coronavirus, the economic recession and the war in Europe, when Russia destroyed our previous security picture with its aggression in Ukraine”.

The prime minister's move automatically triggered the resignation of Kallas’ three-party Cabinet, made up of her center-right Reform Party, the Social Democratic Party and the liberal Estonia 200 party. It will continue as a caretaker government until the new Cabinet has been sworn in, most likely the end of July or early August.

The Reform Party announced on June 29 that it chose party veteran and Climate Minister Kristen Michal as prime minister candidate to replace Kallas, whose last main duty was to represent Estonia at a NATO summit in Washington last week.

Michal’s nomination will have to be approved by Karis and the 101-seat parliament, or Riigikogu, where the coalition holds a comfortable majority. He has been serving as the minister for climate affairs since April last year.

The 49-year-old former economics and justice minister has been active in the Reform Party, Estonia’s key political establishment, since the late 1990s.

Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas speaks during her arrival at the NATO summit in Washington, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas speaks during her arrival at the NATO summit in Washington, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas prepares to speak during her arrival at the NATO summit in Washington, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas prepares to speak during her arrival at the NATO summit in Washington, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas speaks during her arrival at the NATO summit in Washington, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas speaks during her arrival at the NATO summit in Washington, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Recommended Articles