This outfield cannot take anymore water.

As Sabina Park curator Patrick Gordon spoke yesterday morning with the sunshine trying to break through and the wind blowing, there was a touch of optimism that something could be salvaged by having a match here today.

By then, the first of the five Cable & Wireless One-Day Internationals had long been abandoned to the disgust of a few disappointed fans who felt the decision was too premature.

A few hours after Gordon's comment on the outfield, further rain between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. almost certainly put in doubt the second of the weekend's back-to-back matches between West Indies and India.

And the bleak forecast for last night and today was for thundershowers.

We're taking all precautions to prevent a further saturation, Gordon said.

We don't know what the weather is going to be like. Certainly, if it remains clear and we continue to get some sunlight and breeze, I can't say that we are going to start at 9:30, but we should start pretty close to that.

It was virtually an echo from what was heard on Friday evening after match officials had completed an inspection.

We knew that once we got rain overnight we would have been in trouble, Gordon said.

Trouble started at about 11:30 p.m. Friday with sharp shower and it continued with persistent rain between 1:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. yesterday.

Head groundsman Charlie Joseph had lost all hope after working the preceding two nights without any sleep. When Jamaica Cricket Association chief executive officer Brian Breese came to Sabina at 6 a.m., he found Joseph sleeping on the roller and didn't even bother to wake him.

At about 8:20 a.m., Breese made the inevitable announcement that the match would be abandoned and patrons would be given a complete refund.

As patrons started to make their way home, the sound system from the Kingston Cricket Club started to play old-goldies that continued well into the evening when it was still very overcast.

`Conditions were bad'

The four umpires and match referee were of the firm opinion that play should be called off. We didn't have a problem with that. We realised that conditions were bad, Breese said.

The main source of concern was the area just to the west of the square and a section in the north-eastern corner of the ground which had been drenched with several inches of rain following the conclusion of the Test match on Wednesday.

As Breese made the announcement on the public address system, it was met with shouts of disapproval from some spectators in the Kingston Cricket Club, who gave the impression that they believed the match should not have been abandoned so early.

At the same time, hundreds queuing up to get into the popular Mound Stand also showed their dissatisfaction, but both Breese and Gordon defended the early cancellation.

To have tried to play a match today [yesterday], we may have made such a mess out there that there would be no way we could get play tomorrow [today], Breese said.

All five of the officials were adamant that play should be called off. Looking at it and realising what it was like yesterday [Friday] and realising the amount of deterioration that had gone on, I thought the right decision was been made.

Gordon spoke about the potential dangers of playing in soggy conditions that could risk injury.

Everybody wants to see cricket, but we must protect the players. That must be paramount and I think it was uppermost in the minds of the umpires, he said.

Gordon also defended suggestions that the groundstaff was too tardy in placing covers on the ground after the completion of the Test match on Wednesday.

We could have covered the entire ground, that's hindsight. We don't have the covers to cover the entire ground, he said.

We could have pitched a tent. There are all kinds of things we could have done, but I still don't know if we would have been able to play this [yesterday] morning.