Rain wins again at Edgbaston
The third NatWest Series one-day international between England and Australia at Edgbaston was abandoned without a ball bowled due to rain.
Persistent downpours in Birmingham left the square heavily covered and the outfield sodden and, despite brief spells of sunshine, the showers returned to leave umpires Aleem Dar and Rob Bailey with no other option but to call the game off.
Alastair Cook’s side lead the five-match rubber 2-0 courtesy of victories at Lord’s and the Kia Oval. They can no longer achieve the whitewash required to displace Australia at the top of the International Cricket Council ODI rankings.
The washout provides another blow to Warwickshire, who saw three days rained off when they hosted the Investec Test against West Indies earlier this summer.
Live Text Commentary
6:11pm - MATCH ABANDONED - The recent showers have proved too much for the ground and the umpires have decided to abandon the game. There would not be enough time to get the players out on the field after another clean-up operation.
6pm - The rain is heavier than ever and the crowd are getting restless. This could well be the end now because time is running out.
5:20pm - The shower I was talking about has arrived but, even though the covers are on, both teams are warming up on the outfield. It's getting heavier now.
5:05pm - We are set to start at 6pm, providing there is no more rain. The game will be reduced to 28 overs per side. However, there is another shower forecast in the next 15-20 minutes!
4:40pm - The ground is bathed in sunshine and the outfield looks to have responded well to its treatment. The umpires are out now having a look. Fingers crossed.
4pm - The showers return once again! Just when it looked like we might be closer to some action, it starts raining and the covers are back on. I may be starting to sound like a parrot, but there will be another inspection in an hour.
3:50pm - Things are looking promising here! The ground staff have removed the covers and are applying whitewash to the crease. With no more rain, we could be under way pretty sharpish. Umpires to inspect in 10 minutes.
3:25pm - The umbrellas are back out here as another heavy shower lands on the covers. The large number of spectators look frustrated. Where's Cliff Richard when you need him?
3:05pm - The news from the inspection is that there will be another at 4pm, with the possibility of a 40-over match.
3pm - If we do get any play, which won't happen just yet as the covers are back on, what are the odds on Australia making changes to the side that were convincingly defeated at the Oval? Coach Mickey Arthur and captain Michael Clarke will have to decide whether to take Mitchell Johnson out of the firing line after a disappointing return from injury, with Ben Hilfenhaus and James Pattinson waiting in the wings.
2:45pm - The current bun is shining brighter than ever as the ground staff start to remove the covers. Hopefully we have seen the last of the rain!
2:25pm - The showers forecasted are arriving on time. It's looking bleak here as England bowling coach David Saker currently takes on the elements, making the journey across the soddened outfield from the indoor nets back to the pavilion. At least Wimbledon's on...
2:10pm - The heavens have opened here in Birmingham, it's raining cats and dogs! The ground staff are applying more covers to the square. It could be a very frustrating day! There will be another inspection at 3pm.
2pm - The covers are on and off more than a light here! The umpires - Aleem Dar and Rob Bailey - have been to inspect the middle, but I imagine certain parts of the outfield are still cause for concern.
1:40pm - The sun has disappeared for the time being, but there will be a pitch inspection in 20 minutes time.
1:35pm - James Anderson was among a cluster of England players making the trip across the damp outfield to the indoor nets for a warm-up. If he is fit after a niggling groin injury, Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes is unlikely to feature on his home ground. Woakes was called into the squad as a replacement for Stuart Meaker and Jade Dernbach after the Surrey pair were given time off to travel to Wales for Tom Maynard’s funeral. Dernbach was later ruled out of the remaining three matches with a side strain sustained in the six-wicket victory at the Kia Oval on Sunday.
1:20pm - England, 2-0 ahead in the five-match duel, will be hoping they can take to the field as they aim to wrap up their second NatWest Series of the summer today. Alastair Cook’s side are also looking for a ninth consecutive triumph and have aspirations of a 5-0 whitewash over their arch rivals. The super soppers are doing their job superbly and, as I write, the covers are being removed.
1pm - Good afternoon and welcome to Edgbaston for ecb.co.uk’s live coverage of the third NatWest Series one-day international between England and Australia. The bad news is the covers are on and the outfield is very wet, but the sun is creeping out and a major clean-up operation from the ground staff is in full flow. The scheduled start time is 2pm, but there is no chance we will be under way then.