Rain Washes Out Play in Birmingham Test

Birmingham (England), Jun 8 (IANS/CMC): Rain has wrecked the opening day of the third and final Test between England and West Indies at Edgbaston here, forcing play to be abandoned without a ball bowled.

Persistent rain ensured that ground-staff were forced to keep the playing area covered through Thursday and also prevented captains Darren Sammy and Andrew Strauss from spinning the toss or declaring their playing elevens, reports Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

Lunch was taken half-hour early at 12.30 p.m. but steady rain continued into the afternoon and umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Tony Hill eventually called off play at 3.30 p.m., just minutes before scheduled tea interval.

"As a team we're disappointed. We said if we could win a Test in England it would be an achievement for the team so we needed as much as play as possible," a frustrated Sammy said afterward.

"We're quite disappointed the weather has intervened for the entire first day."

Rain has been a feature of the West Indies wretched tour, ruining the opening three-day tour match against Sussex at Hove early last month before also washing out the last day of the two-day warm-up game against Leicestershire at Grace Road last weekend.

Trailing the three-Test series 0-2 after losses at Lord's and Trent Bridge, West Indies are aiming to salvage some pride by winning the contest but Sammy admitted the weather had now dented those hopes.

"That's what we'll be trying to do - go all out in trying to win - but it all depends on the weather and it's something we have no control over," Sammy lamented.

"The weather forecast for the next few days doesn't look too good … so we'll keep our fingers crossed. Whatever cricket we get, we'll just look to win those sessions."


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