2nd ODI (D/N), Christchurch, March 28, 2023, Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand

Match abandoned without a ball bowled

4.35pm So after a long wait, the game is washed off without a delivery bowled. The series stays 1-0 in New Zealand's favour and we will move to Hamilton for the third ODI on Friday. Sadly we couldn't bring you any more action today, but blame the rain gods! That's all from us. On behalf of Himanshu and Ranjith, this is me, Abhimanyu, signing off!

Zane: "I guess Christchurch doesn't always pull through."

Shazeen: "Real bummer the match had to end this way but it is what it is. Sri Lanka's WC direct qualification hopes take another hit and the best Sri Lanka can do now is to draw the series. "

Arnav: "How do we know that we are talking to Abhimanyu the human or Abhimanyu the cricinfo bot? :)" I guess that shall remain a mystery!

Anon_IR: "@allie- I work for NZ tax department (IRD) and have seen the lengths people go to save on taxes.. in this case millions are at stake. Not surprising at all from ICC."

4.30pm It's official. The match has been called off. It's still raining, and they've come to the seemingly obvious conclusion that there can't be any play today in Christchurch.

Mustafa Moudi : "@Sith: No AI can ever replace these Commentators. No doubt of AI's accuracy but I highly doubt it would be able to produce the variety of words that these people use. AI would be boring after a point of time due to lack of creativity and repeatitive descriptions !!"

allie: "Regarding CWC arranged late I do understand point 1 but surely ppl are dragging their heels with points 2 " Well, people do go to huge lengths to avoid taxes! You shouldn't be surprised by this at all!

Viraj : "A Sri Lankan fan all the way form UK waited all night, pretty disappointed, hopefully we'll be able see some action soon." I would suggest you get some shuteye, Viraj.

It's still raining, but we have the next inspection at 4.25pm.

4.15pm Thanks Himanshu. And I see the "machines will take over our jobs" talk is back on. And I thought the day couldn't get gloomier.

Throw the rest of your questions to Abhimanyu, who is all charged up after coffee.

Hayden G: "Question about the CWC - How come the schedule is being released so late this time around, or has it always come out this late?" --- As Nagraj Gollapudi had reported, there are potentially three reasons for the delay: monsoon receding at different points, getting a tax exemption, and getting visa clearance for Pakistan

3.50pm As rain continues to rule the Hagley Oval, just a reminder that the cut-off time is 7.02pm for even a 20-over contest to take place. For now though, things look grim.

Sith: "Himanshu, Abhimanyu, and the rest of the gang, how does it feel knowing that you all will be easily replaced by AI soon???" --- It feels terrible to even imagine a machine describe the events of a ball in its computerised, monotonous tone. I think cricket will be truly revolutionised

Lawrence: "A Sri Lankan living in Melbourne - so pretty used to the bad weather, but super disappointed about this. Sitting at work and was hoping for some entertainment on the side!" --- Perhaps Cricinfo's version of the chatter, if not the cricket, can still entertain

Banshee: "Running out of ideas, eh, Himanshu? I don't envy you." --- Almost like a perplexed captain when the opposition batters just can't stop smashing the ball around. Now I know what Aiden Markram, Rovman Powell and Paul Stirling must have all gone through in recent times

3.30pm While we wait and hope for some action, tell us what has kept you busy during this time? I'm sure some Sri Lanka fans back home must have taken a nap already.

Neil: "We should go back the schoolground way of finding a winner for a rained off cricket match. Play a quick game of touch rugby, winner takes all." --- Why switch over to rugby when we can have indoor cricket?

Did you say cricket, Abhimanyu? Well, the cut-off time is 7.02pm for hopes of any cricket at all. But for all the waiting, this rain-affected game from 2009 from the old ground in Christchurch is one I recall well: reduced to 28 overs, and decided in the penultimate delivery. Tim Southee is the only active international cricketer from then.

3pm Alright, time for me to go get myself a cuppa. Here's Himanshu to take over, what with all the riveting cricket going on in Christchurch.

"Don't worry guys, Christchurch always pulls through," says an optimistic Zane.

Jono: "@Dyl Further to this, the new Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre is literally on the Hagley Oval grounds. Chuck a go-pro up and get it going!"

Some more fun suggestions for cricket's everlasting problem with rain. Dyl: "Putting forward an idea for washed out matches - Game moved to an Indoor Cricket facility and 8 players from each side duke it out in a game of indoor cricket so we can see a result!"

Harry: "@Matt 30km/h is high wind in chch? Here in Wellington we were getting 100k gusts and they were still playing :D" Oooh, a little inter-city banter. Let me fan the flames a bit!

2.10pm This was the update from NZC 10 minutes ago:

Matt: ""Forecast says it's also very windy, is that right, guys?" Yep wind gusts around 30km/h giving a high wind warning for the region. They say the temperature "Feels like" 2C out in the wind ATM!"

Sahil has a solution in mind. Doesn't sound like a bad one, to be honest. "Hey guys I'm from Auckland, even I can tell you we're not getting any play today, unless they want to fly back up to Auckland quickly." Come on New Zealand Cricket, get that jet fired up!

Dayne: "@Gul - go back to bed mate! I'm fairly confident there's not a chance of a ball being bowled today. If they somehow manage any play, it won't be enough to get 20 overs a side... it's "cats and dogs" our there!"

2pm The visuals from the ground don't look too great. It's still raining, and it doesn't look like start of play is anywhere near sight.

Cowan: "If there is no Black Caps game on today, feel free to watch the domestic New Zealand 50 over Grand Final between Central Stags and Canterbury Kings which is currently on YouTube. Lots of NZ A players in that match"

"It's not just raining, it's 6degC too....!!" says Ian. Forecast says it's also very windy, is that right, guys?

It's all bad news in the feedback section from you guys.

Marcos: "Just to be crystal clear, I also live in Christchurch and there is no chance of any cricket today!"

Bob: "Not liking the prospects.. I'm trying to paint my house on a deadline down here in Dunedin. After some optimism with the sun breaking through earlier the southerly showers have returned."

Thanks Himanshu and hello to everyone reading. Time for me to take over rain watch!

1.45pm We are 15 minutes past the scheduled time for the toss, as rain has delayed proceedings at the Hagley Oval. And here comes Abhimanyu to keep you entertained further.

Chris: "I work less than a km from the ground. It's fairly safe to say that we won't be getting a result from this game. We'll be lucky to get a toss" --- Trust the weather Gods to have a meeting and come to an agreement, so that we can at least have hope

Ryan: "Local here. It's bucketing down in Christchurch. There is no chance of a game being played today. Should be called off early so everyone can get back to the hotel and keep warm." --- Get back to their hotels, and wait for some other cricket in the day (or night)?

1.30pm The below update from NZC is from an hour back:

Gul: "Is it raining or is there any chance for a delayed start? Please update as we Sri Lankans can extend our sleep a bit :(" --- There remains forecast for some showers throughout the game today, with temperatures expected to hover around early in the double digits

There is some rain in the air in Christchurch, but that shouldn't stop New Zealand from eyeing Super League bragging rights. Andrew Fidel Fernando's preview says as much, even as Sri Lanka look set to miss direct qualification for the ODI World Cup and be forced to take the qualifiers route.

1.15pm Already without Williamson, Southee, Conway and Santner for the first ODI, New Zealand will now also be missing Finn Allen and Glenn Phillips. Not a dissimilar way of some teams operating in the modern day, not least against a side which had last beaten them in an ODI at home on the final day of 2015. Hello and welcome to the second ODI between New Zealand and Sri Lanka on this tour, as this is Himanshu, here to lead you to the action ahead.

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