Edgbaston, July 5
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.
The third NatWest Series one-day international with Australia was abandoned without a ball being bowled. 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."