Birmingham: The first day's play in the third Test between England and the West Indies at Edgbaston on Thursday was washed out without a ball being bowled.

Heavy overnight and early morning rain meant the square was fully covered when the captains should have been tossing up ahead of a scheduled 11am (1000GMT) start.

There was a brief spell when the covers were removed but fresh rain meant it was not long before the pitch and square were fully covered again, as overcast skies threatened another downpour.

The umpires subsequently announced they would be taking lunch 30 minutes early at 12.30pm local time (1130GMT) in the hope of a prompt start to the afternoon session.

But further rain saw the square remain covered and at 3.35pm (1435GMT) the announcement was made that play had been abandoned for the day.

It is estimated somewhere in the region of £650,000 could be paid out if all the 16,500 spectators who purchased tickets for the day apply for a refund.

It was the first time a full day's play in a Test in England had been lost to bad weather since the third day of the 2009 Ashes clash against Australia at Edgbaston.

And not since the 2007 Test between England and the West Indies at Chester-le-Street had the first day of a Test match in England been abandoned without any play whatsoever.

Rain is also forecast Friday, raising the prospect of the opening two days of a Test in England being called off with no play at all for the first time in nearly 50 years since an Ashes clash at Lord's in 1964.

England have an unbeatable 2-0 lead in this three-match series.


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