NatWest Series [West Indies in England] - 1st ODI

England v West Indies

Match abandoned without a ball bowled

3.11pm Right it's official. The match has been called off. It was inevitable really. There was never really a chance, a lot of frustrated people are now filing home. We can debate endlessly about the wisdom of holding matches in the north in May. What happened today was unfortunate.

But the forecast for Sunday in Bristol is good. So do join us then for the second ODI.

We appreciate your company and patience today. It was fun reading the book titles, though it wasn't possible to include them all. Obviously, some censoring had to be done!

Catch you all on Sunday. On behalf of Andrew McGlashan, this is Kanishkaa signing off. Cheers guys!

3pm The umpires are out for the inspection.

2.50pm Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood are going out for a look, followed by a few other England players. The inspection is about 10 mins away.

2.07pm Gnasher informs me that there will be another inspection at 3pm. Ladies and Gents, this looks like a non-starter to me. Gnasher, who's at the box seat, is trying his best to be optimistic but the weather seems to have pinned him down as well. There is no reserve day for this match.

The list is being populated below:

Steve Wood again: "And He's Given Him Out!" by Ray Z. Finger Colin: "How To Prepare Spinning Wickets by Sophia Gardens and Fielding In The Deep by Phil Sleepy Reg: "Sportsmanship" by A. Walker Dave: "Slip catching made easy" by Mr. Sitter Mike: "Coping with pressure" by Ona Pear Bakshi: ""The Sights and Sounds of IPL" by Shiva Money Steve: '"Life and Times of The Kiwi Chris Martin" by Wal King-Wicket, "Show the Maker's Name" by Hope N Ingbat. Toothy: "Cricket gadgets" by Nick O'meter Benjamin: "Last-ball winner" by Justin Time. Brummie: "How England will win the Ashes 5-0." by Joe King

1.59pm Let's take a break from the book titles. The umpires are walking out for the inspection.

Sneaking in a couple more. Here's Iain's list: "The art of death bowling" by Pete Chittupp, "Facing the Yorker" by Doug E. Tout

Is that you, Iain O'Brien? Be honest please!

1.34pm Right, there's an inspection at 2pm. Just under half an hour.

Karl: How about 'The Friendly Bartender' By Juana Beer, 'Tennis Consequences' by L. Bow-Payne or 'Things to Cook Meat In' by Stu Potts

Satish: "The Guide To Wicket Keeping" Cott B.Hind"

And they keep coming... Mike Walton: "Middle & Off, Please" by I.B.A. Pinch-Hitter, "Five-nil" by Ozzie Bravado, "Night Watchman" by Hugh Fay-Simm "The Short Leg Volunteer" by Hugh Mustby-Daft, "No-Yes-Wait" by Michael Surely & Ron Out.

Rob does his best. "Spin Bowling" by Hugh G Turner.

PJ (not Poor Joke!) has a gem for us: "My story - Warts and All. By Shoaib Akhtar."

1.30pm Gnasher's given us this update: "The fourth umpire, Ian Gould, is coming out for a look...still bringing up plenty of water under his shoes."

We've some breaking news for you. It broke some time ago, in fact, but we've only just recovered from the childish giggling that ensued. Shoaib Akhtar is out of the World Twenty20...due to genital warts. More here. What a legend.

Steve Wood's been spending his time rather creatively. "Perhaps I could start a topic to pass the time - humorous book titles and authors:

Might I venture "Irish Skincare" by Dermott O'Logical, "The opener's guide to finishing Not Out" by Carrie Ingyabat, "The Suspicious Bowling Action" by Hugh "Chuck" M. Downe

Keep them coming, Steve. This is entertaining.

12.40pm The umpires have completed an inspection and this was what Nigel Llong had to say. "The biggest problem we've got is surface water. It's just a non-starter in any conditions."

Steve Davis: "We're waiting to see what can be done and hopefully get some play."

The ultimate cut-off point is 4.30pm, but they aren't initially optimistic. They need some sunshine to bake the outfield, and at the moment they have got more clouds rolling over. Anything from an hour and a half to two hours to get the ground ready for play. However, there are big areas of standing water at backward point at the moment.

Gnasher: "Oh dear, Dickie Bird is out there so no wonder it's been raining!"

12.20pm The covers are coming off and plenty of people are stomping around the outfield, but no news yet on inspections.

As long as the water doesn't trickle into the shoes, we should be in for a game. That's our optimistic wish. But the last 20 minutes or so has been good as far as the weather goes.

12.03pm The unpredictability continues. Gnasher informs me that it has become bright and sunny now, and it seems like a decent clearing in the weather. The groundstaff are back in the middle, but not much movement yet.

Fingers crossed. Until the next cloudburst. Ok, sorry. I'll cut out the negativity.

While we're waiting for play to get underway, have a read of satirist and comedian Andy Zaltzman's latest post at his regular Cricinfo blog, The Confectionary Stall.

11.55am Gnasher: "Plenty of blue sky in the distance, but it's going to take a lot to dry the ground out now."

11.50am: It's not just the outfield which can't take it anymore. Even Gnasher can't. "Looks like I'll be doing my second outfield story in four months! Sand in Antigua, drainage here...I need a section on Gardeners' World."

Looks like Cricinfo has its own resident expert. Can't be a bad thing after all. What's next? Clay? Take your pick.

11.41am: We saw it coming. The rain's picked up and it's gone very dark. "Don't think this outfield can take much more", feels Gnasher.

Funnier things have happened. At Lord's in 2007 against India, when all hope was lost after a cloudburst, play miraculously got underway thanks to the super drainage system.

11.36am: The weather never ceases to amaze. Another dark cloud on the way. Party spoilers....

11.30am: Here's another update from the venue. "The umpires are coming out for a look, but it's very wet underfoot."

11.15am: Gnasher has some better news. "The sun is out...not quite got his hat on, but it's promising. The groundstaff are at work." It's only the start. A few more hours of waiting and we may be in for a 20-20 shootout. Let's not think that far ahead.

Phil Auge hopes the ECB will read this: "I'm sure this will annoy some of the northern faithful, and I don't mean this with malice to them, but surely they can see now that we shouldn't be hosting international cricket matches in Durham & Yorkshire in May. I think we can all agree it's more important to actually play a game than it is to 'spread the wealth' as it were. Come on ECB, favour the South in the earlier fixtures (I would add 6th May is too early for anything) and let the northern counties have the later matches at end of July & August."

10.55am: Well we have some good news for a change. "Blue sky alert," says Gnasher. "The cloud has suddenly broken, so fingers crossed the worst may have moved through."

Brilliant. That's a start.

We've been getting several mails asking how Eoin Morgan is able to represent England. He has spent the last four years qualifying by living in the UK for 210 days over four consecutive years. And the ICC changed the rules a few years ago to allow Associate players to continue playing for their country of birth as they qualified for a Test nation.

Hope that explains it.

Anthony Papandreou: "There is one cloud in the sky here in Cyprus which has just been burnt away by the sun, however i'd swapped your weather for mine if means the cricket could get under way...."

10.51am: The rain has got a little heavier again and puddles are forming on the outfield.... here we go again. Hard to get a game in at this rate.

10.42am: Gnasher gives us an outfield update. "Umpire Ian Gould has just squelched across the outfield. Plenty of water was coming up under his shoes." Hope he has a boot sponsor. He's going to need more of those today.

Connor: "Weather's fine here in Manila." Best news we've heard all day, I must admit.

10.34am: While it continues to drip, let's read what some of you have sent in. By the way, I'm Kanishkaa, your commentator for this game, if, we can call it a game.

Jim O writes: "What a load of pants, not a cloud in the sky in the sunny isle of man, send em all over from leeds airport, i'll have the castletown minefield prepped in half hour!"

Gnasher's understandably delighted to hear from his birthplace, the Isle of Man. That's a piece of trivia for you.

Tom has some news. "It has just stopped raining in the city centre, more rain on the way by the looks of the angry sky over Elland road though, time for a brew."

10.17am: I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that I've got hold of Gnasher for an update. The bad...well...it's still raining! Sorry guys. "Torrential rain is not the word," he says. "It's hammering down!"

It will be a good test for Headingley's new drainage system, he adds. But it looks like we're in for a long delay.

If we do get any action today, Eoin Morgan could be line for his England debut, having already played 23 ODIs for Ireland. Have a read about his career story here.

A reader by the name of 'M', writes in: "Too sad to hear about "leuwi" as he was fondly known in the cricketing 6's circles in shanghai. Disappointing to see someone who got me to follow cricket live in a stadium go this way - the first day I saw live cricket in a stadium was the day he scored his only test hundred in chennai."

10am: Good morning everybody and welcome to Cricinfo's coverage of the first ODI between West Indies and England at Headingley. And as I write I've been very reliably informed that it's raining at the venue.What a shame.Too late to swap venues now. I should give you guys an update very soon. Andrew McGlashan's in Leeds right now looking up at the skies.

Away from the IPL, the other big news, rather sad news I must say, is that of Chris Lewis being sentenced for 13 years after being found guilty of smuggling cocaine into the country. I won't forget that peach of a delivery he bowled to Sachin Tendulkar at Lord's in 1996 which removed his offstump. He had a very decent bowling action as well. Sad to see him end up this way. Back in his playing days he did wind up the England management on a few occasions. Here's one of them. On another occasion he overslept for a game and that didn't please anybody either.

Series Results
England v West Indies at Birmingham - May 26, 2009
England won by 58 runs
England v West Indies at Bristol - May 24, 2009
England won by 6 wickets (with 84 balls remaining)
England v West Indies at Leeds - May 21, 2009
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
More results »

Photos

May 21, 2009

Overcast conditions at the start of the game, England v West Indies, 1st ODI, Headingley, May 21, 2009

Overcast conditions at the start of the game

© Getty Images

May 20, 2009

Eoin Morgan feeds balls into the bowling machine as England warm-up for the first ODI against West Indies, Headingley, April 20, 2009

Eoin Morgan feeds balls into the bowling machine as England warm-up for the first ODI against West Indies

© Getty Images

All photos for this match