4.37pm So news is that the match has been called off. A grim end to a grim day: not even the toss could take place, as rain and clouds dominated all day long. This is the second consecutive washout between South Africa and West Indies - their last ODI came in 2019 - as the wait for ODI action between them continues. And until the second ODI, it is goodnight and goodbye from us! Take care.
3.51pm It continues to rain, and the covers are still on, unfortunately. One more step further away from action.
Jimmy: "Quiz is not that hard, I got 7/10 and I am in South Africa" --- So that's the key for getting good marks...
3.45pm Once again, there is no word from the ground. So in the meanwhile, you can catch up with all the action from today, including the WPL and PSL games which are live.
3.15pm There is no further update from East London, so the weather keeps holding us up. But we'll be there to ping as soon as there is any word.
Suraj: "Got 0/10 for the quiz" --- I've just chided Sreshth and Yash for putting up such difficult questions. But only if somebody could do that when I was in high school
Cameron: "I kinda wish the skies would open up so the game can be abandoned quickly and we can move on. Rather than keeping us in suspense and hopeful for a match with the on again/off again rain!"
2.41pm The news is that rain has returned. I'm afraid this is taking us further and further away from whenever we could start, if at all so. Ah, now we hear that the rain has stopped.
Ela: "What is chat GPT saying? Will we have a match today?" --- Abracadabra. Loading, loading... it says
2.30pm Never mind the rain, you can still bide time by trying out this quiz by none other than Sreshth and Yash Jha. Which South African cricket venue that has hosted ODI World Cup games has a tree inside the playing area? - and more - they ask.
Anthony: "Stunning March sunshine here in England's capital of London. But rain in South Africa's East London. Bizarre. The weather gods must have gotten themselves mixed up this morning" --- Yeah, they went west instead of east. I found time geography confusing as well at times...
Thanks Sreshth. The only update I have for now is that... there is no update. Blah!
2.12pm Firdose Moonda tells me, "the rain did stop, and then it started again and now it's lighter." And with that, it's back to Himanshu.
2.03pm These were the scenes from 20 minutes ago.
Gulsan: "Forget the rain watch, absolute scenes in Kirtipur at the moment!!! Nepal have just clinched their 11th win from the last 12 to pip Namibia to 3rd spot in World Cricket League 2 and qualify for the World Cup qualifiers in front of 20-30,000 passionate fans!"
1.38pm Looks like it isn't raining very hard now and some staff are on the field. Pitch still covered and conditions awfully dark.
1.22 pm It is also going to be frustrating for the fans. The last time the SA men's team played here was before the pandemic. No new update means there's still no good news for y'all.
Hi again everyone. Quite frustrating, this. The so-so drainage at the ground will compound the frustrations.
1.05pm With rain steady, and the toss delayed, here comes Sreshth. Maybe the fortunes - and the weather - might now change.
John: "What else would we be doing but hitting refresh on Cricinfo waiting for that bold text saying "And the covers are off!"" --- Alas, we remain helpless until we aren't
Gesinski: "I'm trying to decide which of these teams is more likely to win the World Cup next, and whether I'd be alive to see it" --- Some things put more pressure on your organs and nerves than others. This is one of them
Karan Samyani: "Married man is always occupied. Btw, watching ABD's fastest century against WI to make myself double occupied" --- And when you're done with that, you can turn the clock back to 16 years ago to this day, and read how Herschelle Gibbs smashed six sixes in an over against Netherlands in the 2007 World Cup
12.50pm There is no further update from the ground in East London, so presumably it is still raining there. And so while we wait for some news, why don't you tell us what is keeping you occupied during this annoying delay?
Stevie: "Ignorant question... Why does this not form part of the WC super league?" --- The ignorance rather lies in the fact that you've asked this to us, when you should have rather written to either the ICC or to Him
12.28pm Here's the official word from CSA: "The toss and start of play for the first ODI against West Indies have been delayed due to persistent rain"
"Please reschedule the game at St Georges for tomorrow. We are in desperate need of the rain in Gqeberha" --- And the award for the Idea of the Year goes to TheGrissom
GPJ: "My simple question. Why is there always a game on a rainy day? Did anyone not check the weather before planning a series in South Africa?" --- Perhaps like nobody had bothered to check it in Southampton, where they had last met. And so the disappointed weather Gods started having their say.
12.20pm And it's raining again. Uh, oh... whatever relevance we had is further sliding down with the rain.
In a recent development ahead of the ODIs, news is that West Indies will have separate red- and white-ball coaches for the men's team. The decision follows the independent review, conducted after West Indies' early exit from the T20 World Cup last year.
But, but... expect a delay in the toss as it has been raining in East London. "The rain has stopped but the drainage isn't amazing," quips Firdose.
Krypto: "The ODI series that made me search up synonyms for meaningless. Hoping all 4 uncapped South African players get a go to give a little more significance and substance. Only meaning I could get from this is preparations for the Netherlands series 10 days after the last ODI"
12.10pm Like so many ODIs, even these aren't part of the World Cup Super League, and there are injuries and new coaches flanking both sides; yet, there is the temptation of preparation and fine-tuning ahead of the World Cup, which is only another seven months away. Thus, Firdose Moonda sees both South Africa and West Indies seeking fresh starts.
12pm When was the last time South Africa and West Indies had met in an ODI? With the format already feeling the squeeze between its elder and younger sibling, it is almost inevitable that this question is asked each time sides play an ODI series. Lost between tradition and commerce, ODI cricket is now even set to fall back into the category of just-another series again. Back to that question. These teams had last met in an ODI in 2019, and before that, in 2016. This is Himanshu taking things off for this match in East London, with Sreshth set to join me soon.