Out come the umpires. The England players troop down the steps and are jogging on to the field. Rohit and Dhawan follow soon. Huddles are being held, gloves punched. Game on. Or so we think.
James Anderson will open the bowling. Right arm over the wicket. Rohit Sharma to face. Two slips in place.
Last word before the first ball ... gulp.
Rishi: "The crowds hovering around the ground look apocalyptic!"
4.10 pm Scattered white clouds and blue sky above them. We are set for a start in ten minutes.
Abdul Wasay: "And a big big difference for point system in Fantasy Cricket." Priorities, eh?
Whoa, there are some dark, ominous clouds approaching. But no rain for now. Are you following the game on our Match Companion too? Give it a go.
4.00 pm Cheers, Alex. Just in time for the good stuff, touch wood. There's no more room for rain. Twenty-overs a side, four overs of mandatory Powerplay and two of batting Powerplay to be taken at any time, I think. A bowler can bowl a maximum of four overs.
A T20 game for all practical purposes. The Indians should be right at home with the format? Perhaps not. The IPL stars don't have too flashy a T20 international record.
England, however, are not playing their T20 team either. No Jonny Bairstow in the team.
Perhaps they should re-do the toss and teams on such occasions, because the teams planned for a 50-over game and not a 20-over one? But I guess that's how it goes.
Balu: "is there any difference with actual T20 & ODI 20 other than Break of power plays (4+2)?"
Lalit Modi, predictably, has woken up. "Ironically the finals today has turned out to be a 20/20," he says on Twitter.
Robin Abrahams, who's like a ESPNcricinfo Jedi, says there is another difference between a T20 game and a ODI reduced to 20 overs a side. There will still be two new balls used. And the DRS is there, of course.
Nishad: "@ Balu: You are allowed 5 fielders outside the circle in non-powerplay overs in a T20I; only 4 in an ODI."
Blue skies up ahead and from the south-west where the weather is coming from. We could actually get a cricket match. Gorgeous conditions now in Birmingham. And on that positive note, George Binoy is stepping into the chair...
3.50pm It's stopped raining again and again, the groundstaff are peeling back the covers, Aleem Dar is out there having a look, his colleague quickly behind him. The pair are having a chat to head groundsman Gary Barwell. Rod Tucker is now chatting to Ashley Giles in the England dressing room, he's come down the stairs and given a thumbs up to some Indian supporters in the stands. And he has reason for a thumbs up because the news now is a T20 starting at 4.20pm, see how long this plan lasts. But this is now last chance saloon.
Sidharth: "Ok - some rain that I am hoping for. In the Caribbean so that we are spared more India-Sri Lanka matches." Indeed, is anyone honestly looking forward to those games!?! Completely pointless. The original West Indies v Sri Lanka Test series would have been far far better. Now that is bad scheduling.
3.35pm So once again we're back to everyone's favourite game, sit tight and wait for the rain to stop. Another game is head over to our live county blog to check the latest on KP and elsewhere around the British Isles...
Carnage...it's raining...or is it? The players made for the pavilion but then stopped and they're having to move the covers back into position because drizzle is back but the players are still out there warming up. No they're not, they're back in the sheds now. Oh dear.
3.15pm Back up at Headingley, Kevin Pietersen facing Adil Rashid...four, four, dot, dot, six, three to take him to 99 and to keep the strike...and two more runs take him to a century in 106 balls with 12 fours and two sixes. A decent way to get back into form. Australia beware...
Covers are coming off so the umpires are going to have a look at the wicket. And they've decided we're going to start at 3.45pm with a 24-overs-a-side match, so as it stands, we will have some cricket. All eyes on the heavens...
2.55pm Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott have wandered out to have a word with Aleem Dar who is beginning his inspection alongside Rod Tucker, who's a very good golfer by the way, plays off a handicap of two - I'm very jealous! Conditions at the moment aren't good enough to start right away and more rain could potentially arrive in half an hour. Hmm...
Arjun: "Why do they have to wait till 3pm for the pitch inspection? Why don't they do it immediately after the covers are off?" I would assume they're giving the ground time to dry off a bit and then at 3pm if it's still dry they can say, right lads we'll go in 15 mins.
2.35pm Good news for England in that Kevin Pietersen is batting for Surrey and going pretty well at Headingley, passing fifty in 71 balls with four fours and a six. And better news from Edgbaston, possibility emerging of something like a 25-over game at 4pm. The outfield has soaked up the rain and we're dependent on whether the showers that are still in the area miss the ground.
Oh hello, a bit of sunshine, and, for the first time since 11.30 the umpire are coming out to have a look. These gaps in the rain were forecast but unfortunately, gap are all they are and more rain is set to come in soon. But some warmth for the spectators huddled around the ground under umbrellas or in the bars. There will be a pitch inspection at 3pm if there's no further rain.
2.20pm Hello everyone, Gnasher handing over the reins after a tedious few hours that look set to continue. Something like 4.30 the cut-off before we can all go home, England will win their first global ODI trophy (sort of!) and India will maintain a fine unbeaten record. Everyone a winner...go then why not!
Sam: "Even better would have been to schedule this match for Saturday with Sunday as the reserve day. If so, we would have had a result by now." That was my idea Sam, no idea why the final had to be on a Sunday. An extra day off doesn't make too much difference for the players who are used to rattling off matches in a short period of time. And it wasn't as if there was major sport yesterday that might have clashed. The Lions game was done and dusted by 1pm.
2.05pm Sorry, not much to add right now. With are just over two hours away from the cut-off, but I suspect the call will be made between 3 and 3.30 because covers need to be removed and things like that.
Our UK editor, David Hopps, has tweeted: "Eng v Ind cd play Monday if ICC had the will. England wd have to withdraw abt 3 players for NZ T20. All it needs is ambition & imagination." He's really getting the hang of Twitter.
I'm going to hand over update duties to Alex Winter for a little while
1.55pm Still raining.
1.50pm Arun: "The weather channel 15 minutes update continues to show between 0% & 5% rain chance from 1300 hours but it's still raining!. With 25% to 35% rain prediction between 1500 & 1700 hours the ground will probably be knee deep in water!?!" Guess that shows how hard it is to forecast our weather. There are bands of showers moving through all afternoon. Depends if we get lucky.
waqar: "Are there lights at edgbaston ? Why cant the cut off time be pushed to what it would have been in a day night game if the weather gets better in the evening and play it under the lights ?" Yes, they have got lights and they have been on all day. Such is cricket's flexibility (or lack of) that when a game is designated a day game it can't change.
One second there are reports of heavy rain, then that it has almost stopped. What a day. Confirmation: it's heavy again.
1.45pm Chris: "What time do we have to start to get in a T20?" 4.18pm is the latest start time. Some heavy rain again.
1.40pm Sharad: "Instead of posting endless gripes about there being no reserve day, it would be better if you post more frequent updates about the ground and rain situation."
It's still raining. When we have concrete information we will being it to you. Even when it stops, will be something like an hour before we play I'd have thought
Valid point on geography: John: "The only matches in the West ( nowhere near the west coast) were in Cardiff. Birmingham is about as far as you can get from any coast and the Oval is in the SE!"
riz: "guys who would be the man of the tournament any guess?" Dhawan probably favourite. Anderson has been outstanding, too.
1.30pm Paul Marshall: "I cant believe there is no reserve day for this match. What other sport would allow no final to be played. It makes a complete nonsense of all the knock out matches and group stage games that have gone before. The ICC have again made a mess of what should have been a celebration of the sport of cricket."
Just to clarity, once again, if there is not time for a 20-over match today the trophy is SHARED. Nothing else.
Tim Mitchell: "The real problem is the choice of venues for the games. If the bulk of the matches were played away from the west coast then we would have got a lot more results. What's the percentage of games that are played in Cardiff that are not affected by rain?!"
1.20pm CricketinSenegal: "Why cant the authorities have bigger covers to cover out field too and not just the pitch ? So when the rain stops we start immediately ???" That's an interesting one. You see a lot of the grounds in Asia get completely covered when it rains. In fact, during the 1990s Edgbaston had something called the Brumbrella which went right across the whole square but, when it was used for lengthy periods, they found it damaged the outfield so did away with it.
And, yes, the covers are still on now. Some clearing up action, but the problem is the gap between showers isn't long enough
1.10pm Joe: "What do the broadcasters have anything to do with tomorrow? The game can still be played tomorrow but media that cannot cover it need not. That's what espncricinfo is for (no, I don't work for them or own their stock)."
Andrew Dovey: "Quite simply put, if this game is declared a draw, with the ICC failing to have it played on a reserve day, then the past couple of weeks could be considered a waste of everyone's time.. the teams, match officials, commentators and fans worldwide involved. In fact the only winners will be the ICC and Sky Sports financially.. pull your fingers out and do the right thing for the people this sport depends on.."
Parikshit : "Wow it is truly astonishing to see people go on about not having a reserve day. This is not over yet people #hope"
12.55pm It's still drizzling.
Rob: "So what you are telling me is, at an ICC meeting somewhere, someone said "if it rains we will just share the trophy", and everyone else "that's a great idea!"?? Farcical.. Can you imagine them splitting the Football World Cup ?"
Padmanabhan: "I agree with Alan. With such inclement weather, it is beyond me that ICC could not even accommodate reserve day for even the Big Day. The whole tournament stands robbed of its glory without a clear winner. If it is a repeat of 2002, in which even reserve day was a wash out, so be it but not even having an allowance for one is a cardinal sin."
Harsha: "At Alan- I think the toughest problem that the ICC will face is with the broadcasters. Sponsors and advertisers would have invested so much money into this final. And programs scheduled for tomorrow will have their set of sponsors too. I doubt they'll be able to talk to all the broadcasters across the world, when they can simple do what India and SL did."
Ritish : "The hourly forecast for Birmingham looks slightly better on the weather channel for the rest of the day...Fingers crossed!"
Sundar: "To those who are questioning why there is no reserve day.. International cricket cannot be held ransom to English weather. There is no guarantee that a reserve day will solve the purpose given how unreliable the weather predictions are, the Ind semi final game being one example. Plus there is other international cricket to be played. CT is not the be all and end all. and I don't think so much importance so as to be given a reserve day, need to be given to a tournament which is seeing its last day today. I for one am not shedding tears that CT is ending. One good tournament is not enough to make up for a lifetime of mediocrity. Sayonara CT." That was some rant.
wayne: "I agree re the impact on the sponsors and the broadcasters, but they are not broadcasting anything today anyway. At least if there was a second day then the game could happen. It might not be possible to broadcast it on live television, but there will be some people at the game, and others will follow on radio and TV news updates, as well as internet services such as this one. Surely that would be better than no cricket at all?"
12.45 pm Alan Bartlett: "Surely in these most modern of times the ICC committee could show some innovation and if the weather is so good for tomorrow, start to organise it now in case no play is possible. The Grand National had to be cancelled due to bomb scares but was ran on the Monday. A much greater thing to reorganise. Two teams in hotels and flights and an empty ground seems easier to me. There are plenty of media, those who can be there can those who cannot will not be. If something happens anywhere in the world within a few hours reporters will be everywhere. Go on ICC I dare you, or just ruin the competition."
John: "England v. India- Lord's test, 1971. In a low-scoring game India, needing 183 in the 4th innings, were 145-8 at tea on the 5th day when rain washed out play. After escaping with another draw after being heavily outplayed in the second test, India won the third test by 4 wickets and the series 1-0, their first-ever series win in England."
Robert Ford: "re the 92 semi-final. SA won the toss knowing how silly the rain rule was and still bowled and deliberately slowed the over rate and only bowled 45 overs. Then it rained. Justice was done."
Sanjiv Kohli: "Why have ICC not allowed for a reserve day for the final. This seems a ludicrous decision for a major competition played in England and Wales where the weather is unpredictable. Particularly as this is the last Champions Trophy. Ironically, the forecast for Monday (and rest of the week) is clear and dry!!!"
The rest of the cricket world is asking the same question.
Nick: "There is no reserve day because of the New Zealand t20s, which makes no sense. The final of an ICC tournament easily outranks a paltry bilateral t20 series, priorities, people!"
SpiderCam: "Telecast rights and costs prevent the match to be played tomorrow. Not strategy or logic!"
12.30 pm The players will have lunch now, so if and when the game does happen, the interval will be short. The weather is still terrible. Grey, drizzly and heavy cloud overhead. Fans are huddled under umbrellas. Hope springs eternal.
The latest a 20-over a side match can start is 4.15 pm, which means the rain will have to stop at least by 3.15 pm. It does not look promising.
I'd be interested in hearing why the ICC did not think a reserve day was necessary.
Pankaj: "I was at the Jan 22 2012 NFC Championship Game between SF 49ers and NY Giants played at San Francisco. Rain was coming down in buckets but since NFL doesn't stop for rain (or snow), the game went on. From an amazing seat (paid a fortune!), in the nose-bleed section, totally open to the elements, I watched 49ers lose to Giants."
David: "We Saffers are polite. We feel no need to remind England that in 92 only a mere technicality - Gooch insisting on leaving the field at the slightest opportunity - robbed SA of a historic win, and allowed England to proceed to the final, which they duly lost, against a Pakistan team that SA had already beaten in the tournament. We don't want to rain on England's parade, but as rain is the theme of the day, and you asked, yes, we were robbed. The precipitation is indeed fitting should England to be denied a chance art the trophy.This rain was earned 21 years ago."
Ramprashad: "Can Cricinfo create an app that will trigger an alarm in cellphone under certain situations, so that people (especially those who stay awake all night or get up very early to watch a match) can go to bed without worrying about missing the match?" I'll pass that suggestion along.
Neeraj: "My "unhappy" memory of rain is 1985 - 1986 tour of Australia under Kapil's captaincy. India de lared 600/4 first inning and Aussies were following on and were 119/6 when portions of day 4 and entire day 5 was rained out. I guess I am showing my age."
Rob: "So what you are telling me is, at an ICC meeting somewhere, someone said "if it rains we will just share the trophy", and everyone else "that's a great idea!"?? Farcical.. Can you imagine them splitting the Football World Cup?"
12.20 pm Clearly almost no South Africans following the commentary today, or else the 1992 World cup semi-final would have had a mention in my inbox by now.
Nadim Hussain: "I have another happy memory of a rain-affected match! The Pakistan v/s England match from the 1992 World Cup in Austratlia/New Zealand. Pakistan were bundled out for a paltry 79 before rain saved the day for them and the 2 points were shared between the teams. That one point eventually helped Pakistan qualify for the semi-finals and eventually win the WC!"
Kamal Chawla: "SA fans are watching , but they are yet to decide which match to send , 1992 or 2003?"
anurag gautam: "Major ICC tournament final, INDIA vs ENGLAND, its raining and no reserve day, these guys are really some kind of genius.#ICC"
SACHIN: "@george : How can ICC repeat the same mistake like 2002. No reserve day for final of a big tournament is so pathetic and crazy. One side ICC says they are worried about the Game's popularity and other side they make such schedule where u dont have reserve day for final of Champions Trophy..? That shows that ICC is so much eager to curtail the Champions trophy then anyone else.."
But there was a reserve day in 2002, Sachin. Sri Lanka batted on that day, and then the second innings was washed out again.
12.10pm The rain is heavy, says Nagraj from Edgbaston. "Next inspection based on when it stops, mopping exercise has been going on continuously, the crowd continues to keep the faith."
Mike Selvey on Twitter: "Find something else to do, people. There won't be anything happening around here for some while if at all."
Nick Hoult on Twitter: "Sunny day forecast for Birmingham tomorrow just to rub it in a bit more."
Matthew: "I have a happy rain story. Friends Provident Final, 2007 - the provision of a rain day allowed Durham to comprehensively beat Hampshire and then truly enjoy a well-earned first major counties trophy having completed the match. Was a very proud day to be a Durham fan."
Dinesh: "Good morning from Hartford, CT... My relieving experiences from rain was during the India v Pak Sahara Cup games in Canada. It was always murky in Toronto but rain somehow stayed away... Mohanty and Ganguly were on top of their game as bowlers then"
Rohit Ramesh: "My worst memory was a game in sydney which I attended in Sydney 2004. After beating Australia at the GABBA India were looking set to beat them again after Yuvi and VVS took them to 296. Then the rain came and reduced it to a 34 over game which Aus narrowly one thanks to a Brett Lee six of Balaji."
Tony Lock: "My first experience of watching test cricket as a teenager was a rain-affected England v Pakistan in the seventies. We waited until after 4pm for play to start & saw Derek Underwood take 7 wickets in one session!"
Zak: "The most frustrating moment with rain and cricket has to be ICC CT finals when India Vs SL met twice but SL managed to share the trophy with India after two poor performances with the bat."
12.05 pm Phil Brown: "While we have a captive audience, can anyone match this. In 1962, I believe my father and I became the first father/son to score centuries on the same day (different matches). Our local cricket assn. contacted Wisden, and they had no record of this being achieved before- anywhere. This was at Kempsey NSW. Anyone know of this happening at any level before then?"
Venkat: "If we can have all weird rules like the team topping the group will go for semis etc. Then why not have similar weird logic to announce the winner? Team with maximum no.. of wins or better run rate..that is more reasonable"
Avinash from SF: "It's interesting that in the 1999 World Cup India and England played at the same venue, and that match was troubled by rain too. However, that match was continued on the second day. Here we don't even have a reserve day."
Priyank: "I went to the West Indies vs SA game in Cardiff with a devout SA fan.. It's the only time I've seen someone pay for a ticket and hope that the ground gets absolutely flooded. Needless to say his nerves took quite a beating in that game.."
Arvind Kamath: "20th jan 1997 - India were on verge of victory against SA in Johannesburg but Darryl cullinan and rain had other ideas and India fell short of victory by 2 wickets" You'd think by the comments coming that only India had matches affected by rain!
Krish: "I remember India being 35/5 chasing in a match against Australia in 2006, and match was abandoned. It was quite a relief to see India get a point rather than watching a pitiful collapse."
12.00 pm Mark: "why oh why did we not have a reserve day for even the final! I mean the weather forecast for tomorrow in Birmingham is absolutely wonderful!"
Which is your most frustrating - or relieving, if the case may be - rainy cricket experience? I remember waking up at 4.00 am in Chennai to the sound of driving rain. And India had to chase 200-odd on the final day against Australia to win the Test in 2004. The cricket never began.
Aakash: "I have a happy memory about rainy cricket days- The first test between India and England at Lord's in the 2007 series. India were on the brink of a huge defeat and Dhoni and rain bailed India out of trouble and England were denied a win. India went on to win the series 1-0."
PC: "Most frustrating rain experience - traveling to Kingston, Jamaica for a long weekend in 2002, only for both Ind-WI ODIs to be rained out. Thankfully, Jamaica offers other "diversions" that help you forget your angst."
Gautham: "i still remember the game against Australia where india was chasing 200 odd on the final day. Sehwag ended the 4th day with 3 beautiful boundaries and india was expected to win that test. So unfortunate"
11.50am Pmdixit: "Just checked the 'The Weather Channel' ipad app. It predicts no rain for another 3 hours. Why not straight away go for a t20 if both captains agree." I do think there should be a cut-off where when a certain amount of time is lost (say three hours) that the game goes straight down to a T20. It's a format everyone knows.
Chintan: "My fiancée planned for weekend and I cancelled it to watch this match and now its raining. I guess I'll have to prepare for fight now!" Oh dear, Chintan. Good luck!
11.45am Tanmoy: "What is the cut off time that a 20-20 game is possible?" If it's the same as the England-New Zealand game it will be around 4.15pm
Doh, as Homer Simpson would say. It is raining again. Not sure we'll have the noon inspection.
WorriedHarry: "From what time we will start to lose the overs and by what rate?" I think we are now losing overs
Raj: "Can you believe it? Birmingham weather report shows it is sunny and warm for the whole next week. Its not even cloudy."
11.35am Dpak: "If it is going to rain on and off the whole day, why cant the ground be constantly drained and mopped? why do they have to wait for the rain to stop every time? I presume this will save a lot of time." Sometimes the rain is just too heavy to make it worthwhile, but full credit to the groundstaff as they get out there whenever it's possible to take off the surface water.
NEWS: If no more rain, there will be an inspection at 12pm
11.30am Update from the ground: the rain has stopped for now and some mopping up is underway.
manoj: "There are two things which remained same through out the tournament .... one is the Indian playing eleven while the other is rain.."
Mohit Garg: "Andrew, any chance you're related to the McGlashans from NZ- Pete and Sara?" I get asked that quite a lot...no, we are not related
11.20am Ian: "I was born in 1975 when the first world ODI tournament was held. After all this waiting for 38 years, here is a chance to split a title, thanks to good ole English rain!"
lifeflowers: ""IS same person Commentator: George Binoy | Scorer:Binoy George" Ha, no, they are two people. And sorry to spoil the fun, it's Gnasher now
Avinash Iyer: "I am in Calgary, and the city is in a state of emergency where no one should be stepping out unless necessary because of the floods. In this situation, considering I had nothing else to do, I was looking forward to a day of cricket. Rain is screwing my day from every angle.." I'd heard about all the rain you had been having. Stay safe.
Ranjeet: "I did not know that you were a Britisher "George Binoy" (Not in the UK. We've learned to live with this weather, quite used to it!) - bet you're not going to publish this." Sorry, that was me (Gnasher) writing that comment. Had forgotten to change the name!
11.10am On a more positive note, when this band of heavy rain moves through the radar does suggest a drier period behind it. Keep your fingers crossed.
GrumpyKanu: "Either UK is banned from hosting important cricket tournaments or ECB provides roofs etc. for matches. No wonder cricket is dying here." Erm, where is cricket dying? Not in the UK. We've learned to live with this weather, quite used to it!
11.00am Ramesh from Charleston,SC: "I am up on a Sunday morning to watch this match on ESPN. We need to consider roofs like at Wimbledon for all cricket venues. What is a billion dollars, when it comes to keeping the fans happy!"
Rahul Kapoor: "I remember the CT final between India and SL which was rained out despite the reserve day. In those times, India hardly ever reached finals of ICC events. So much excitement was ruined by the rain. And now, here." And, the even more annoying thing about that game, was they'd bowled enough overs over the two days to get a game in.
10.55am As was the situation in the England-New Zealand match, we are in the situation where the toss has taken place and now the match could be significantly shortened. Obviously, it's the same for both teams but should there be a cut-off when the match is 're-tossed'?
And, just a reminder, there is no reserve day. This latest band of rain appears to be quite heavy, so unlikely to get a swift start
10.50am Hello everyone, Gnasher here for a little while. Weather watch continues. The main centre cover is on at the moment...oh, and now the side sheets are coming out again. Grrr. They had disappeared
Divyajeevan : "Interesting to see that the commentator is George Binoy and the scorer is Binoy George" It certainly makes for much fun!
Rajshekar: "@Tim: Can you explain how India will hold the advantage if say, the match is reduced to 40-overs a side...it will be even stevens whenever the match starts...Anderson however might be itching to bowl, I'm sure!!!"
10.42 am The good news was fleeting. The rain is back, and so are the covers protecting the square.
Tim: "India will now be happy to see the rain and the longer the delay the better. A 50 over match is massively in England's favour whilst a much shorter game will negate that advantage as instead of initially just having to survive and keep their wickets they will be able to play their normal attacking game throughout."
vivek: "Was all geared up for the match and it started raining in Birmingham. Ordered lunch for delivery and its started raining in Hyderabad. Rain has delayed my entertainment and lunch."
Ajay: "@Runi - That would be true of the match was a 20-20 to begin with. Unfortunately, if we begin with a 40 overs match, which then turns into 30 and then finally 20, the side batting first is at a distinct disadvantage."
And on that note, I'm going to take a walk and hand over the commentary to Andrew McGlashan.
10.40 AM The covers protecting the square have been taken off, but the hovercraft is still over the pitch. The floodlights have been switched on. They are roping the outfield, to remove surface water.
10.25 am As the national anthems are playing, I can see covers in the background.
The players troop into the dressing rooms and they are going to stay there for a bit I'm afraid. It's begun to rain. Umbrellas everywhere.
Dylan: "I play tennis and when I'm playing a match I'd rather just lose the toss so I don't have to bothered with making such a useless decision. Meanwhile though, in cricket, a simple quarter can easily decide the match."
Joe: "Tredwell has been England's secret weapon so far. Goes about without fuss and gets the job done. One to watch today."
John: "Totally baffled by the Bresnan-over-Finn selection. It's Dernbach all over again- the selectors going for tricks (reverse swing in the last few overs in this case) rather than getting top batsmen out early."
Runi: "If the match is reduced to a 20/20, surely that's advantage India? Also, you never post my comments, and frankly, it's upsetting"
10.20 am "Many different players have been involved in India's recent two global successes, but there is one constant in their calm and composed captain," wrote Nagraj Gollapudi on the eve of the final.
Alastair Cook believes his England side are ready to create history and shed their unwanted record as they prepare to meet India in the final of the Champions Trophy, says George Dobell.
It will be time for the anthems soon. The flags are in place, awaiting the teams.
10.10 am Are you all scrambling to update your fantasy teams? Meanwhile, the hovercraft is hovering over the pitch, but I think that's a precautionary measure for the next 15 minutes.
Also, once the game starts I'll be pressed for time to read and publish comments. So for a robust discussion during the game, you should definitely follow our Match Companion. Devashish Fuloria will be bringing you awesome stats, polls, tweets and more.
Rahul Kapoor: "One mistake which England will probably never stop making is replacing Finn with Bresnan. Against a quality batting line-up, Finn is quality fast bowler and Bresnan is nothing but bits and pieces cricketer."
Brijesh Patel: "I never wanted people saying that India won this trophy on the basis of fortune in all the matches...and yes, today we got the chance to eliminate those kind of comments."
James: "Hope we get a proper game and a winner. I'd rather India (who would be deserving winners) won than a no result shared trophy. Oh, and ICC, please look at the format which has made this a really exciting tournament."
The toss is happening on time, 10.00 am Sanjay Manjrekar interviewing the captains as they walk to the middle. Cook: "India re unbeaten, the form team, hopefully we can put them under pressure. Dhoni: "We've done the small things right."
Dhoni calls tails but he's called wrong. Alastair Cook says England will bowl first. Tim Bresnan replaces Steven Finn. MS Dhoni concedes it was an important toss to win, and that India would have bowled first too had he won the toss.
India are playing an unchanged side.
freak: "I dont remember a team playing with same XI for the fifth consecutive time in a major ICC tournament.... Now that real awesomeness from the Men In Blue....."
SpiderCam: "Everyone says that winning this toss is winning the match. It can prove a blessing in disguise for India, because if they beat England despite losing the toss, India can prove to be the undisputed top team in 2013."
Mark: "@SpiderCam That's exactly it. Win in adversity to gain respect. So far they have not had to do it in the tournament."
Ansh: "And there with a simple coin toss, favourites of the match - India are no longer favourites to win. Really wish the coin toss didn't have such a heavy impact on an important game like this."
Tom Moody on Twitter: "Don't get the Bresnan preference over Finn, I know who's more likely to take wickets against India or anyone for that matter #ct13 #EngvInd"
9.50 am It's a new pitch for the final and Sourav Ganguly, on Star Cricket, reckons there is moisture in the surface and there will be assistance. It will seam, but moisture also aids spin. And with rain round, win toss and bowl should be a no brainer.
Rags: "Band-Aid' LOL...After hearing Ravi Shastri harping on 'Plaster-of-Paris' for last 15 years, Nagraj is a refreshing change..!!"
Mark: "As very few of the England players are involved v NZ is there no chance that they could make a decision re-schedule for tomorrow if there is no result today?"
9.45 am Dashing India against dogged England. Here's Sidharth Monga's preview for the final. We could have a toss on time.
Nagraj Gollapudi is another one of our reporters at Edgbaston. He says the pitch "looks like a patch of band-aid on an otherwise verdant carpet."
More from Nagraj: "A Jaipur band is playing band baja outside and it seems more like an Indian wedding ..."
Steven Sutherland: "So what would happen if rain comes and we do not achieve the minimum of 20 overs a side, with no reserve day what would be the result." A shared trophy, a la 2002 when India and Sri Lanka endured two washouts. Do two halves make a whole?
9.35 am The covers are off for the moment and the warm-ups are in full flow.
Rudimentary Cricket Fan: "I woke up at 6 in the morning (EET) and warming up for the game by watching 2002 Natwest final highlights and 2011 WC league match highlights. Anxiously waiting for the game to start (if rain permits)."
Husain: "To all those swearing at the rain... I am sure water is more important than a cricket final washed away... As a cricket fan I know it hurts, but, being having suffered a serious shortage of water due to lack of rains I am sure water is definitely more important." Well, everything has its time and place.
9.25 am The covers are still out in force, but so are the Indian players, going through some warm-up drills. Again, it's cloudy at the moment but no rain, just intermittent drizzle.
9.20 am Beety: "Call it off today - tomorrow looks much better." But Beety, there's no reserve day, remember? England and New Zealand play the first of two T20 matches the day after tomorrow.
Dev: "Once again,i guess the toss will be crucial...Whoever wins the toss and decides to bowl first will almost certainly win in the event of too much rain..." It'd be hard not to agree with that.
Pete: "This tournament has drawn on a kinds of game plans and tactics, from England especially. As an Australian, very keen to see if England can pull this off as (slight) underdogs to a tight Indian combo."
Sophia Tan: "Also, this rain provides a good time to catch up on reading (like the Match Preview) or make final adjustments to your Fantasy side before 10:30 local ... Or finish off your Japanese assignment, which you just remembered 5 minutes ago (NB: may not apply to all cricket fans)"
Tushar Sem: "Saw on twitter, people saying its a green pitch and England will be happy...just want to point out that with Bhuvi, Umesh & Ishant, India will be equally dangerous. #watchout"
9.05 am Not good news. It's drizzling and the heavy duty covers are on, protecting the pitch and the square. The rain is not heavy at the moment but the precautions in place indicate more is expected.
Dr. Swami: "Cricket Forecast: A repeat of 1983 world cup semi final is expected my mid day today."
Meanwhile, not the best news for Australia ahead of the Ashes. KP on Twitter: "And by the way - after fielding for 136 overs, my knee feels top drawer!! All smiles this Sunday!!"
Mark: "I am looking forward to this. These are undoubtedly the two best teams in the tournament. Both have relied on their bowling attack to restrict the opposition and the batsmen to run up modest totals in every match bar one. India have been irresistible and are deserving favourites, but almost no one tipped England to get this far and they are alive and kicking and full of self-belief."
American Cricket Fan: "I really do hope that play will begin and end as planned, with no rain, because then i will have stayed up all night to watch at least a whole cricket match regardless of the result." Not the best day to hope for such a thing!
Vansh Desai: "No need to worry, George and co. At least you're not playing here in Sydney - we've been having torrential thunderstorms over the last two days (with more predicted tomorrow as well), with about 100mm of rain falling over the last 40 hours. But yeah, one must remember that we are playing during the English summer =P"
Vinit Desai: "Let's look at this positively. Rain interruption gives you a great chance to get your insights published on the live commentary feed or, if you're not getting lucky, making your contribution to the forum found in the Match Companion section. Enjoy! =)"
Parth Desai: "4:14 am here in Canada, have stayed up whole night to watch this match. Rain you better stay off! have sacrificed a whole night's sleep."
How many Desais are following this?
9.00 am Good morning, and welcome to ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball coverage of the Champions Trophy final between England and India at Edgbaston.
First up, the weather. It's cloudy in Birmingham. A grey morning. It's not raining at the moment, but rain is forecast at several intervals through the day. George Dobell, who's one of several ESPNcricinfo reporters at the venue, says the outfield is in good condition considering the weather over the last 24 hours.
A couple of minutes after I wrote the above paragraphs, I'm seeing on Twitter that it's begun to drizzle. It's going to be that sort of day. A big, big toss to win again.