BIRMINGHAM - England were left counting the cost of another Edgbaston wash-out as their hopes of becoming world number one in all formats of cricket were dashed for the time being.
As a result England, the current leading Test side and Twenty20 champions, cannot complete the 5-0 whitewash needed to overhaul their opponents at the top of the 50-over rankings.
It was another bleak day for Birmingham after three days of the third npower Test against West Indies last month were also washed out. Several times over, it seemed as if the ODI might be about to get under way - albeit in a shortened format - only for rain to continually dash plans. But finally, at 6.10pm umpires Aleem Dar and Rob Bailey announced an abandonment which leaves England 2-0 up with two to play ahead of the fourth encounter at Durham on Saturday.
Warwickshire chief executive Colin Povey spelt out his frustration although the midlands county will suffer no financial loss through being fully insured.
He told Press Association Sport: “I reckon we’ve lost more days of major match cricket in half a season here than we have in the previous 10 years put together.
“It is an exceptional period weather-wise around the country. When you look back it will be a summer to forget, sadly. “You just want a good day out and the people we feel sorry for are the fans. We’ve worked hard and everyone had been busting a gut to get the match on.
“We’d geed ourselves up after the Test match and said ‘never mind, we’ve got the one-dayer coming up soon with a full house’ and then we get rained off again. It’s frustrating and it’s just sad to see people all ready to go and then we don’t see any cricket.”
It is the second time this season that an ODI has been abandoned without a ball bowled. The third match against West Indies at Headingley, home of Yorkshire, another cash-strapped county, was also called off. The fourth match against Australia is scheduled for Chester-le-Street on Saturday – the forecast is, guardedly, promising that it will go ahead.
Although the teams for the match were not officially named it seemed likely that the fast bowler Chris Woakes would have played. With Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott also in the side it would have been the first time since 1974 that three Warwickshire players had appeared in the same England XI.