You heard it here: CALLED OFF.
One point each, New Zealand stay on top, India edge ahead of England to third spot. Australia stay second. This now means Afghanistan, England and Australia are the only three sides to escape rain results this World Cup. But hey, tomorrow's England v West Indies. I won't utter a word about the forecast. Until then, this is Shashank Kishore signing out on behalf of Alan Gardner. Be well!
Virat Kohli says: "Sensible decision to not play, given the outfield wasn't fully fit. One point not a bad thing for sides that have won all their games so far. So we'll take it. For Sunday, we know we're there when it comes to the mindset. Just about going out there and having a game plan, executing it. As soon as you enter the field, it's calm and relaxed. The atmosphere from the outside, for the first time, it's a bit intimidating, but we'll look to execute well. It's been competitive for years, it's a marquee event all over the world, honour to be a part of the big game. Brings out the best in all of us. Shikhar will be in a plaster for a couple of weeks, we'll assess and see. Hopefully he'll be available for the later half and the semi-finals. He's motivated, we wanted to keep him back."
Here's Kane Williamson: "Been about four days and we haven't seen the sun, so this doesn't surprise us. It's not ideal, but little bit of time off is also important. We have some break now midway through, so it's a good chance for the guys to freshen up and look forward to the next challenge. Southee, Nicholls have progressed nicely. South Africa is a very good side, we know every time we play them, they're extremely competitive, but we have a few days to refresh and come back. Every game has similar worth, every time you're trying to prepare as well as we can."
VJ: "Been up since 5:30 AM here in the US. No indoor stadiums, no reserve days and my American friends are all making fun of me and this game - well deserved I guess. " -- Ouch.
3.00pm So apparently the umpires walked out, and then quickly went back in. A bit like many of us testing the waters at the swimming pool, feeling our way in and then deciding against jumping in because the water is too cold!
2.57pm Three minutes away from an inspection and its hosing down. Play can begin as late as 4.25pm, but that's not happening people. Don't think we've had AMA, Quiz and 'spot the players' contests in a long, long time. Things rain can do to you. Well, we've enjoyed it immensely though.
Viraj Vinay Kar: "Wonder what happens to the tickets of people who spend a fortune, some of them travel a long way hoping to catch glimpse of their favorite team/player/venue. Do they get refunded?" -- If it is abandoned, they will be entitled to a full refund, but not sure if that is enough to bury their disappointment. But then, what can you do?
2.41pm Mel has some news for us. Next inspection at 3pm "There are now Pet Puddles formed on the covers," informs Sharda.
The Indian men's cricket team might just end up getting no play today, but their hockey counterparts play the FIH Series Finals semi-final tomorrow against Japan. On paper, fifth-ranked India start favourites against Japan, who are 18th, but must watch out for their renowned fighting spirit
Ramesh Mukka: "Which country is hosting 2023 Cricket World Cup?" -- India. And before we go any further, he's a poll. Will Chennai's locked stands be thrown open? Your guess is as good as mine.
Srawanth Reddy: "I attended both the games in 2016. First game it was so hot and humid people were fainting all over the place. Second game just 1 hour of rain and the ground was a lake. Hope they have a night game this time around."
Kartik from Flo: "The grounds impeccable, the last matches were some of the best including the tied game, with a huge Caribbean and Indian diaspora and a few miles from the best beaches - what's not to like." -- The drainage is terrible, though. We should be good as long as it doesn't rain? Remember the farce from the same 2016 tour where we didn't get a game the next day despite bright sunshine for four hours?
Sharda with a massive update from Nottingham. Wait, wait, wait.........."Lunch was far more lively than on-field action."
Meanwhile USA-based Indian fans keen on watching the team play, here's some good news for you. I know, those on the West Coast will throw a fit, but well, it's closer than heading to Chennai or Mumbai or Delhi or even London.
2.25pm Little less than two hours to go for the cut-off time for a T20. It's still raining. We're as close as we've ever been towards a call-off. Still raining. Inspection scheduled in 10 minutes. Not sure if that's going to happen though.
I know it can be boring to sit and wait. How about trying your hand at the Yuvraj Singh quiz? If you followed his career closely or even remotely, you should be able to answer a few of these at least.
Sid: "Great news for SA fans! None of the teams have gotten ahead in the points table. SA to win the WC from here!" -- You read it here, first.
Ross says: "To be fair to the ICC, they were only one year out in the "1 decent summer every 10 years" UK weather cycle. As a NZ supporter, I'm not entirely unhappy with the prospects of playing on green pitches with intermittent rain - it's just like home Dorothy"
Udai: "Do you go home early if game is abandoned or have to be in office until prescribed match timing?" -- Depends. At times, if there is plenty of preview content expected and there are just two or three hands on the desk, we stay back. If there are a lot of resources at hand, we can look to possibly push off a touch early.
Ajeet Singh: "The India-Pakistan rivalry in cricket is so endearing and traditionally engaging that the ad campaigns make absolutely no difference. The real fans know that the what lies at the heart of the game matters much more than a silly piece of negatives promoting unhealthy conflict. #goblues"
2.00pm Belting down as I type. This is increasingly looking like a washout. *Orders some Bajji and pakoda*
Vishal Kahate: "Off topic but I want to ask correspondents at ESPNCricinfo, what do Indian and Pakistani players think of advertisements and build up to their contest? any reactions?" -- I'll answer it on their behalf. "We're treating it just like another game. Want to focus on our strengths and just follow the process."
Neeraj: "I probably am answering myself, just checked the weather in Manchester, shows rain on Sunday and beyond....hope we will see a India vs Pakistan game."
Ello again. How long before it's called off? I suspect we're looking at it in the next 30 minutes. Ready for more quiz questions?
Okay, let's go. Which ESPNcricinfo correspondent has been at most number of rained out games so far this World Cup? -- Look at comms, scoreboards, reports. whatever, and figure out. Your time starts NOW.
The most loyal reader award goes to Vishal Kahate: "Sharda Ugra " -- Bingo. Guess what's her next game, peeps? -- Okay, I'll leave you guessing.
1.45pm: The stair rods have arrived in Nottingham, from the sounds of it, and our slim hopes of exchanging soggy chat for some hot World Cup action are dwindling fast. Anyway, time to hand back to Shashank again. If you ask nicely, he might have some quiz questions up his sleeve...
"This is a bad decision of ICC to put a World Cup on this rainy season most of the matches abandoned by rain," huffs Syed amir. Yes, choosing to host it in the British summer was an error
Here's John Varghese: "Rainy here in Toronto too! Disappointed when weather interferes and takes away viewing fun (read advertising commerce!!) In big games for big tournaments. Our Raptors take on the Warriors in game 6...just imagine if that's washed out!! When will cricket be played indoors? When the 'commerce' warrants it?"
And Hrusi has finally got the correct answer: "@Alan, Gollum called and he wants his ring back!" Yes, it was the one, true ring, folks! Now I'm off to find some lembas for lunch...
1.30pm: Time for the next inspecti... Oh! "The covers have just gone back on as we eagerly await the umpires," sighs Mel. "But wait! What's that? More rain falling. Of course." Sounds ominous for the prospects of a game. Sharda adds: "Having seen three rain breaks now - this is the most sinister of them all." Wait there's more: "This is a rain from some Matrix movie with men huddled in dark jackets. No sign of Keanu sadly."
Nitish R: "@Alan: Do you have sandpaper in your pockets?" Ooh, that's good. But no (straight shooter, see below)
1.25pm: I think Mel and Sharda are off trying to scavenge the last remaining biscuits in the press box at Trent Bridge, so let's just assume
the Apocalypse is on hold things remain dry-ish. The umps should be heading out again in the next five mins for a looksee.
"Handkerchief." You can have half a point for that, Benn. My back pocket wasn't the one I was referring to
"@Alan - I think you don't have pockets!!!" What an accusation, Hus Silverado. I'm a straight shooter, everyone knows that
Yash, meanwhile, has a cunning plan: "I think the best way to beat the rain is to 'announce' that the match is canceled. The rains will be tricked into moving to the non-cricket-playing parts of the UK, and we can enjoy a sneaky 30-over game."
1.15pm: No news (is good news?), but the next inspection is not far off now. Meanwhile, the luls keep coming:
"@Alan - your mobile." Nope, that's on the desk, John
"Your hands." But then how would I type, Boddington?
"@ Alan - Hand Warmers." C'mon, kushilab. I'm not a Premier League footballer, and only Sri Lankan in my heart
1.05pm: Now this... This almost makes the day worth it:
12.55pm: Mel denies it is raining at Trent Bridge, by the way. Could be the delirium, though. We don't want this to spark a "truthers" movement...
"@ Alan - phone, car key, wallet with Eoin Morgan's photo, tea bags ..." All excellent guesses, Aabhas. But no
"A Hole." Not in this pair of trousers, Bud Marsh
Guerilla Cricket, meanwhile, has their suspicions: "Re: Mel's it's not raining claim - is she definitely outside?" I think she's in
the corner rocking back and forth repeating 'umpire inspection in 30 mins' the press box
12.50pm: They are going to take lunch at 1pm. So that's the important matters dealt with. However, this is not what we want to hear, via Ansuman: "I am at the ground and it has started to rain (not drizzle) again so things looking not so good. sadly, I'm sure this is the last nail on the coffin."
"What is the cut off time before the game is called off??" They'll need to start by 4.15pm for a 20-over game, Will Grego. But realistically that means being happy with the ground by 3.30ish at the latest
"@Alan: Shashank started a Quiz and if you have taken over from him, u should continue with quiz. It was a good time pass when its raining !!" Okay, Mustafa Moudi, you've got it. What do I have in my pockets?
12.40pm: Another inspection at 1.30pm. Can someone please Photoshop the "This is fine" meme so the dog is sitting in the rain? Tweet your efforts to the #LiveReport for everlasting* fame.
"Am actually in India for the first time... during the World Cup and really want to watch a game here with the fans..... Please stop raining... I go back to all the rain tomorrow... please rain lord, help me today!" Make it a 'pretty please', Bob Wilko, and we just might be on
Uwaisul Karnain: "I honestly believe that they should cover the out field with large covers (in Sri Lankan style) along with the Hover Cover for the remaining matches to enable play to resume within 1 hour after rain stops. Better late than never, they say." Are you listening, ICC? Get down to Selco and buy some tarps, pronto
*approximately 15 seconds
12.30pm:, Right, who's for a ground inspection? "Heeeeeeeeere they come again!" trills Mel. That's the umpires, I think. Though it could be the other men in white coats. "They're poking around the square again. It hasn't rained for some time." Is that something like optimism, Mel? Although it should be said that 15 days in the World Cup is taking it's toll:
12.29pm: Ahoy-hoy! Thanks, Shashank, I've got more comments to wade through than during an actual game. Tons of you have got it right, but James H gets the limelight for including a statsguru link: "Headingley"
Time for question 5 before I hand over the controls to Alan Gardner.
5. Which ground has seen the most five-wicket hauls in World Cup? (Don't know? Try your hand at StatsGuru to find that out!)
Yogesh Patil, I can see, is the first to answer. Mukul Soni too gets it as does DR Sundar. Woah, you guys are awesome. Wait for a while before the answer is revealed.
just in case you're wondering I'm not doing my job -- well, it's still drizzling. We're supposed to have an inspection at 12.30pm but it all depends on whether the rain stops or not.
4. Why is Kevin O'Brien celebrating the way he is? Take a look at the photo first and then fire away your answers. Hint: It's from a game against UAE at the 2015 World Cup.
The answer: It's apparently the 'Karate Kid' celebration which he brought out after dismissing UAE's Krishna Chandran Karate.
Sagar Veerla you're almost there, but that's not the answer I'm looking for. Srisai Karthik, you legend. That's the answer. I'll wait for a while before revealing it. Sujith too fires away the right answer.
You guys good with the difficulty level or want me to crank it up a little?
Here's the next question:
3. Who is the only batsman to score centuries in a World Cup semi-final and final?
Doesn't necessarily have to be in the same edition. -- Navin Adhikari is the first to get it right, but you guys have time to bash in your answers. Sorry Lee. Arvind, it can't get easier than this.
Rajesh, Nag, Nilabh, Prateek, senthil, Mark, Nissanka - all of you are spot on. The answer is Mahela Jayawardene. Hit a century in the semi-final against New Zealand in 2007 and the in the final against India in 2011.
Mani Bhai: "Bring on the questions quicker lads." -- At your service, sir.
12.00pm Just to recap, we've had an inspection half hour ago. The umpires weren't happy with the square and surrounding areas. So disappointed they were that they didn't even have a look at the outfield. Covers have been on and off. The next inspection is at 12.30pm.
Okay, question number three is coming up.
Time for the answer.
Edgbaston, Kingsmead, Sabina Park and Bengaluru are the only grounds to see tied World Cup matches. (Aus v SA, 99. SA v SL, 2003. Ireland v Zim 2007. Ind v Eng 2011)
11.50am Just in case you guys are wondering, it's drizzling again. Let's get back to the quiz.
Here's the second question:
2. What singular World Cup fact connects these grounds - Edgbaston, Kingsmead, Sabina Park and Bengaluru? -- Ahaan, Sumeet and Rajat have already cracked the answer, but I'll still give you guys some time.
It's time for the answer to the first question. Ready? -- Kyle Coetzer's 156 is the highest score in a losing cause in World Cup history. You guys, ready for more? The second one's coming up very soon.
The next inspection will be at 12.30pm
Parin asks: "Rain expected from 2 to 4pm but none after that. Why not just declare a 20-20 game starting 5pm"
Quiz time, courtesy Sreshth Shah. Okay, I know I asked you one earlier but the time for trials is over. Lets go for reals.
1. What dubious World Cup record was achieved in this match? -- Fire your answers my way.
Moiz: "Highest Individual score in a world cup match by an Associate player." -- Wrong.
Ack: "Highest score by an Associate batsman?" -- Wrong.
Vikash: "All scotland batsmen were caught?" -- Lame. Wrong.
Shashi kant: "Highest Run chase without a single century on chasing team. That's the record." -- Good try, but not correct.
11.30am The umpires have decided to make their way out. They're inspecting the outer area of the square. "They came, they saw and they've left." Leaving us all feeling humbled, yet grateful for their presence.
11.25am The covers are coming off, reports Melinda Farrell. Now for the rain to behave itself. Fans are still milling about the ground, decked up, dressed up in many different attires. Let's hope there's a start at some stage. Just to re-confirm, the 11.30am inspection is ON.
While Nottingham soaks in the rain, why don't you soak in this preview of the Women's FIH Series Finals where India are the favourites for the title. Also at stake is a berth for the Tokyo Olympics Qualifiers.
11.10am Live visuals from Nottingham and Jadeja has just offered Shikhar Dhawan a slice of bread and egg whites. Wonder if the cup of coffee or tea has already gone cold, he's been holding it for a while now. Oh, sorry. I forgot to tell you it's still drizzling.
Elsewhere, colleague Andrew Fernando asks why can't ground staff across the world learn from Sri Lanka's methods of covering grounds? Trust me, it's a form of entertainment of its own. The way they come haring in to the boundary ropes at the first rumbling of thunder or even just an inkling of cloud formation is enough. They're bloody accurate too.
Anantha channels the spirit of my colleague Sreshth Shah: "Here's one on World Cup nostalgia. Who are the only 2 cricketers to be involved (Batsman, bowler, Fielder) in a . world cup winning moment twice, either as part of winning team or opposition?"
10.58am The covers were briefly off for the time it takes for Bangalore's famous Silk Board signal (haven't heard? - world famous, shame on ya!) to turn from green to red. They're back on again. Booooooooo
As rain continues to delay proceedings in Trent Bridge, as good a time as any to fill your ears with some riveting tales from our Talking World Cup podcast, courtesy Sharda Ugra and Andrew Fernando. Features all things from a press pack baying for blood, another giving a standing ovation, and the time when Sanjay Manjrekar had to sneak into a ladies' washroom for a recording (yes, we aren't making any of that up!)
Just in case this isn't clear, check out our Live Report to see if your questions have been answered. My good mate Varun Shetty is on the job today.
10.54am Even as I just about manage to settle in, Sharda, who is in Nottingham, has generously agreed to field your questions. So fire away with the hashtag #LiveReport. The best and the most interesting ones will be answered there. Pro tip: Ask her about World Cup nostalgia. She's covered so many of them, possibly her first coincided with my Class 2 exams. Serious.
10.45am: There will be another inspection at 11.30am, so best sit tight, folks. Top up the thermos, break out the custard creams. And keep a few warm words for Shashank, who is going to take up the baton for a bit.
"What would Ranjith P - Cricinfo scorer be doing on a match day like this (washout)?" Hopefully something far more productive, Saran. Like watching videos on YouTube
10.37am: The umpires have, in fact, been out for a gander. Still looks pretty bleak, but the groundstaff are again going about the business of taking the covers off. No news yet on when we may get a toss. Most English grounds drain pretty quickly these days, but there seem to be a few patches that will need mopping up before we can think about playing.
"Has the ICC given any reaction to the washouts?" Funny you should mention it, Ashish Kumar. This is what I spent my Tuesday doing
Prashant: "Can I just say that for a 90s kid like me, what I love most now, more than India actually winning, is the feeling that India will likely win every match. Against SA and Aus, I never doubted India will win. And even if they didn't I know that's just the exception and not the norm. I have waited so long for this feeling. "
10.33am: "Breaking news," intones Sharda, "the drizzle has stopped." Now you're teasing us...
10.30am: I presume the umpires aren't inspecting.
"Talking about the bowlers in this world cup why all the time you guys misses Muhammad Amir, the most leading wicket taker till now." We've barely even started talking, Zahis Manzoor. Mo was certainly on fire yesterday - pity about the rest
10.18am: Uh oh. Sounds like the fates may have been tempted... The hover cover is back ON and the rain is FALLING. This is exactly what we didn't want. "The square covers are being dragged on at speed and soon it could be torrent," says Sharda, before adding: "Okay these are not Sri Lanka level speeds of ground coverage." Speaking of those little Lankans (Tony Greig TM), heeeeerrre's Fidel on the one field where SL are undeniable world-beaters.
Rahul Oak: "Flying out of London right now and it's been rainy and generally miserable all this week. However, the forecast for next week is decidedly better." That's the spirit. Remember, when you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle!
"Fab4Bowling should be Cottrell, Russell, Oshane, Holder.... " Babylon is with you, Srini
"After much deliberations and conversations, mostly with myself, I've decided that all future World Cup games have to be played in a stadium with a roof," declares Shane. "Therefore all World Cup games from now on should be played at the Forsyth Barr stadium in Dunedin."
10.10am: I see BlackCaps on the field, having a butchers at the square. Only in cricket will a player be preparing for the start of a *World Cup* game by supping from a mug of tea/coffee (Jimmy Neesh, of course). Hover cover is off now, a traditional Trent Bridge belter being prepared by the groundstaff. And, I say this tentatively, it still isn't raining... Meanwhile, weather permitting, this could be a big day for KL Rahul.
Here's dez, bringing the rays of sunshine #LikeABoss: "Forecast is actually much improved as of now - expecting a 35-40 over game with a few interruptions & the arrival of messrs D & L!" Not to mention S, of course
"Here's a great topic to pass the rain delay: Like the batting Fab4, I think its high time we start mentioning a fast bowling Fab 4 (all format great bowlers) - and I think they should be Bumrah, Cummins, Rabada and Boult - Who would be your four Alan?" That's an easy one, RP. Harmison, Flintoff, Hoggard, Jones. But you guys can take it away...
9.55am: We have a delayed toss, but there will be an inspection at 10.30am. By which time it will probably be raining... Ho hum. The outfield seems pretty sopping, though it's clear-but-gloomy around the ground.
"It's about 2.00am in San Francisco area and I am trying not to fall asleep during the match," yawns Jyothi . "I had made a bargain with Team India that I will cheer for every ball of every India match and in return they have to do what they do best, win. Thanks to the weather Gods, I am in a dilemma - to cheer or not to cheer. Can't cheer if there is no match now, can I?"
9.45am: If you'd like to follow all this in stereo, by the way, my colleague Varun Shetty is doing a millennials version target=_blank>over on the Live Report
target=_blank>over on the Live Report. The covers have been peeled back, says Sharda, just the strip tantalisingly obscured. As things stand, the toss is very much ON (although that does not come with a guarantee). Meanwhile, here's Al Muthu on Mitch Santner, who may or may not have X-factor but certainly has specs-factor (see what I did?!)
"There is something about cricket and rain," muses Balaji, wistfully. "I live in Dubai for last 8 years and have hardly witnessed rain. There was a match rained off last year. My hometown is Chennai and have seen only hot, hotter and hottest season. Quite a few matched rained off. Cricket produce better results than cloud seeding." I believe it was invented by the Chinese for that very purpose
"Good Morning Alan. Sitting in my hostel room and ordering a pizza while it's drizzling here in Pune. Hoping that we get a game today." Send a slice this way, Siddhant Sharma. Could be a long day
9.40am: Sharda Ugra, doyenne of the drip-by-drip, claims it is currently dry at Trent Bridge. Yay! Sounds like some of the India team are in situ, though we're not so sure about New Zealand. "Heavy showers predicted at around 10am," wails Mel again, from beneath half-a-dozen sou'westers...
Here's Partha Mohapatr, doing whatever the opposite of a rain dance is: "I have never ever checked the weather app so much as I have done over the last couple of days, especially for a city I am not living in. So much to see a game of Cricket! Fingers crossed for Nottingham."
"I live just 1 mile from Trent Bridge," reports Lachhuman. "There is no rain. "
"Hi Alan! Considering the weather, which team will it favour, if the match is reduced to 20 overs contest." Hello, Marshall Raja! Whichever one wins the toss, I should think...
And here's Mark with some Permutation Speculation: "We are only just past a third of the way through qualifying and already it seems that the Semi-Final places are between Australia, England, India, New Zealand and West Indies. One of the five will miss out. The games today and tomorrow will give some big hints as to which the unlucky team will be."
9.30am: Hello everyone, and welcome to the most comprehensive live coverage in town - you really will feel like it's raining on you! We should have an absolute corker in store, with India and New Zealand the two unbeaten teams in the competition so far, but, you know. All I'm saying is, don't get your hopes up. Although here is Mel Farrell doing just that: "Good (not really) morning from Trent Bridge, where it's as grey as it's been for the past few days. No rain right now but a heavy shower is forecast for around 10am. We'll be refreshing the met office weather page constantly but hopefully we will have enough dry weather to get a game in." While we cross our fingers and look to the skies for supplication from the cricketing gods, Al Muthu's preview should keep you busy. And Aakash Chopra has the lowdown on how India should deal with New Zealand's four big guns. I'm Alan Gardner, currently dry as a biscuit, and I'll be joined by Shashank Kishore to bring you all today's
weather reports action.