Rain washes out Bristol opener

By Matt Somerford

England’s series-opening Royal London one-day international against India was called off without a ball being bowled due to rain in Bristol.

Umpires Rob Bailey and Paul Reiffel abandoned hope of starting the contest at 1.30pm after rain had steadily fallen throughout the day.

Alex Hales was therefore denied the chance to make his 50-over debut, after skipper Alastair Cook confirmed yesterday that the Notts Outlaws opener would partner him at the top of the order.

Hales earned his call up on the back of three centuries in the Royal London One-Day Cup this summer, while he also hit a ton for England Lions against Sri Lanka A earlier this month.

The right-hander will, however, have to wait for his ODI bow with the five-match series now heading to Cardiff on Wednesday.

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Pre-Play News

1.50pm – There is some good news for the fans who had a ticket for today’s game. Glamorgan have just announced that fans can exchange their tickets from today to gain entry for Wednesday’s match at the SWALEC Stadium at no additional charge.

1.30pm – MATCH ABONDONED! –  That inspection by the umpires was enough to convince them to call this off. It’s a disappointing end, but now we all head to Cardiff for Wednesday’s match.

1.25pm – The umpires are heading out to the middle now for an inspection. The pitch is still covered so I suspect they’ll look at the surface water on the outfield.

They have headed straight over to that large puddle on the edge of the ground. No sign of fishing rods though.

1pm – The rain continues to steadily fall. The two super-soppers are going backwards and forwards trying to clear the surface water but it appears a thankless task at the moment.

In order to get the minimum of a 20-over match the game will have to start by 3.48pm. We still have plenty of time, but clearing the water away would be a problem – even if the rain stops – and there is a large puddle forming at one end.

12.20pm – The rain is starting to come down harder now.

12.10pm – The super-sopper has just dumped a whole load of water over the fence and has immediately headed back into the middle to pick up more. I reckon there’s a fair few more trips to be made yet.

11.35am – The rain continues on. We’ve been told that there will be an inspection when the rain stops, if it stops.

10.45am – England are due to play just their ninth one-day international at the County Ground in Bristol today. Their record here is not brilliant, though, having won three times. 

When we were last here four years ago Bangladesh snuck a five-run win. India have played here, seven years ago, when they also were narrow winners – getting up by nine runs when one Sachin Tendulkar hit 99. Interestingly, Alastair Cook opened that day with Ian Bell at three. 

10.30am – We’ve reached the scheduled start and the covers remain firmly on.

10.15am – The groundstaff are working away on cleaning up the surface water as much as they can. There are two super-soppers working their magic on the covers at the minute. It’s still raining though.

Quite a few hardy souls have found their seats in the stands and are braving the weather. While they, and we, sit around waiting for the rain to clear here is our preview of today’s game with the confirmation Alex Hales is due to open on his debut….if the rain goes.

9.40am – Good morning and welcome to live coverage of the opening Royal London one-day international between England and India. The first bit of news to share with you today is that we have a delayed start. It has been raining here in Bristol for most of the night and it is lingering around – it’s one of those days where the rain hangs in the air rather than falls.

The umpires have been out into the middle a couple of times, but the pitch is under heavy cover so they’ve not been able to have a proper look. With that in mind they have had no choice but to delay the start, which was scheduled for 10.30am. I’ll update you as I get more information. 

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