Birmingham - Rain saw play abandoned without a
ball being bowled for the second successive day in the third and final
Test between England and the West Indies at Edgbaston here on Friday.
was the first time since 1964, during an Ashes clash between England
and Australia at Lord's, that the first two days of a Test in England
had been washed out without any play whatsoever.
After a fourth
straight session was wiped out, the decision was taken --with rain still
falling -- shortly after the end of the scheduled lunch break at 1.50pm
local time (1250GMT) to abandon play for the day.
Now the total
refund bill to the 31,300 spectators who bought tickets for the first
two days in total could exceed 1 million ($1.5 million), although the
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are insured.
As the toss has yet to take place, neither side have named their team.
controversially, decided to rest spearhead seamer James Anderson from
this match although, given the weather, it now appears an increasingly
prudent decision ahead of a three-Test series against South Africa where
their world number one ranking line will be on the line.
also have the option to give Anderson's new-ball partner Stuart Broad,
included in their 12-man squad, a break as well with back-up seamers
Steven Finn and Graham Onions eager for Test action.
For the West
Indies, Friday's washout gave key batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul an
extra day to recover from a side strain, although it also reduced the
time available to the tourists to improve on a record of just two wins
in their last 32 Tests.
The uncapped Sunil Narine is in line to make his Test debut at Edgbaston in place of fellow spinner Shane Shillingford.
Kemar Roach already ruled out with a shin injury, either Tino Best or
Fidel Edwards could take the new ball alongside Ravi Rampaul.
But top-order batsman Kirk Edwards, who has scored four noughts in eight innings this tour, may be dropped.
have an unbeatable 2-0 lead in this three-match series, with this match
representing West Indies' last chance this tour to win a Test in
England for the first time since 2000.
Not since 1954, when
England played Pakistan at Lord's, have the first three days of a Test
in England all been washed out with no play at all.
However, Saturday is expected to be dry, before the rain returns on Sunday.