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Eng v WI: 1st ODI as it happened

First one-day international, Headingley:
England v West Indies

MATCH ABANDONED

By Pranav Soneji

606: DEBATE

e-mail tms@bbc.co.uk (with 'For Pranav Soneji' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606. (Not all contributions can be used)

1518: Poor old Eoin Morgan, he'll have to wait until Bristol on Sunday to make his England debut. Until then, when Mark Mitchener will be in the hotseat, I bid you adieu.

1517: So there it is, hardly surprising. Umpire Steve Davis says the conditions have improved but "there's still a lot of water and a bit of a risk to the players. In our opinion it would not be fit before 1630 BST." Slightly farcical considering Headingley's £650,000 new drainage system installed during the off season. Nice show from the England boys, who are out on the boundary ropes signing autographs and having a chinwag with spectators.


1511: BREAKING NEWS - MATCH ABANDONED

1507: Umpires Steve Davis and former Kent stalwart Nigel Llong stomp across the Headingley pitch, assessing the prognosis on the troublesome outfield. TV's Nick Knight tells us the ground is still sodden, while England coach, sorry, team director Andy Flower and bowling coach Ottis Gibson attempt to leave large footprints on the square. This is almost farcical, I truly empathise with all those hearty souls inside the ground.

1450: Andrew Strauss makes an appearance on the sodden Headingley pitch, flanked by Paul Collingwood (in shorts) and Stuart Broad, who looks thoroughly unimpressed with the run-ups. Graeme Swann sits on top of a roller looking pensive, possibly wondering whether he will outbowl Nathan Hauritz in the Ashes.

Karl, Basingstoke, TMS inbox: "No greater cricket related song than 'When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease' by Roy Harper. So good the late John Peel requested it be played as his eulogy."


Rob Fearnley, Leeds, TMS inbox: "Neil Hannon is absolutely light years behind in the cricket-themed music stakes. There's a punk band from Yorkshire called Geoffrey Oi'Cott doing the rounds and a little known band from deepest darkest Lancs' called LBW used to terrorise crowds whilst playing hyper-fast grindcore in full whites!"

1411: The umpires' inspection has concluded...another umpires' inspection will take place at 1500BST. Boos ring out around Headingley, possibly because most people have chomped through their scotch egg allocation and have now been forced to eat fruit. Both Steve Davis and Nigel Llong are particularly concerned about the bowlers' run-ups, which are still soaked. A pirate and a Roman look perplexed in the crowd. My colleague tells me a Twenty20 would be far more useful than a one-dayer, what with a certain cricket tournament around the corner on our shores.

Philip Maton, TMS inbox: "Is it possible to replace "No need to reload page, content below updates automatically" with "No need to reload page, nothing's happening"?



1404: TV's Nick Knight's shoe is engulfed in water as he presses his rather smart black brogues down on the Headingley surface. The infield is slightly drier, but the water blotter/steamroller thing is still churning up litres and litres of excess water. The hardly souls strewn across the picturesque ground scoff down their sixth scotch egg washed down with a tepid pint of mild.


Andy Tait, TMS inbox: "I live right next to the Headingley stadium practice nets. Funnily enough the recently installed drainage doesn't work there either, it must be the wrong kind of soil in Headingley. I bet a few well-heeled MPs on expenses could sort it out in no time."


Ash, Leeds, TMS inbox: "Re: Divine Comedy's Duckworth Lewis Method (way down at 1103). Browsing a well-known moving image-sharing internet portal whilst avoiding revision, I stumbled across a song by The Kinks called 'Cricket'...it's amazing! And Sherbert's classic song 'Howzat', where a cheating partner is analogous to a leading edge ('you messed about, I caught you out, Howzat?!'), is the best cricket-themed pop song, I reckon. Any dissenters?"


1345: We have an umpires' inspection at 1400 BST. "The outlook for play is looking very bleak indeed," says BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew.

1315: Hello. Remember me? Well I haven't got anything good to tell you I'm afraid, the ever-resourceful Headingley groundstaff are continuing their sterling efforts to squeeze every last drop of excess water from the outfield, but it's taking valuable time. We have until 1630 BST to get play started, after then it's curtains. The ground recently benefitted from a new drainage system - only problem is it's not functioning properly yet, which sort of defeats the purpose of having it installed before the start of a new cricket season.

From Adam Foss, TMS inbox: "I'd like to know what all these cricketers do when it's raining. There can only be so much Buckaroo they can play and Loose Women they can watch. I happen to live just across the road from the stadium and seen as I am hard at work would be grateful if someone might pop round and Hoover my front room while I'm out. "

Stuart Broad would definitely be the most effective England hooverer, with his long arms and reach, while Sulieman Benn could dust down the top of the wardrobes and kitchen cabinets from the West Indian side.

From Keith Texel, TMS inbox: "I live in a village just north west of Headingley and am getting the weather 20 minutes before it hits Headingley. The blue sky was here but didn't last for long, more rain clouds on the way I'm afraid."

From Alex Coe, TMS inbox: "Glad to see in broadening of crickets international appeal with today's big-gun clash between Bahrain and Japan. Although I'm not convinced Japan's opening bowler PJ Giles-Jones (3 for 3) is a native of the land of the rising sun…"

The sun is out
1242: We have bright sunshine at Headingley, but there are vast puddles strewn across the outfield. Umpires Nigel Llong and Steve Davis are concerned about one particularly large patch of stagnant water inside the 30-yard circle. The groundstaff are estimating anything up to two hours of clean-up time, cutting the 1630 BST cut-off time very fine indeed.

1203: Right, with the prospect of cricket about as likely as a Smith's reunion, I'm off to dig out the lyrics to "The Headmaster Ritual" and other favourites. TMS has gone off air, so there's no commentary at present. Hope to see you back here later...

From Keir Feeney, TMS inbox: "I understand the cricket is of the main concern but some updates on the parking situation would be great for those of us who live in Headingley. The next time I get home and find Boycott's Hummer is my spot there will be hell to pay."


1157: Jonathan Agnew's description of the overhead conditions at Headingley sound more like Mordor than west Yorkshire, although some of the hostelries around that area should never be visited by Hobbits or Homo sapiens. The outfield is soaked and the groundstaff have a monumental effort to get the pitch ready by 1630 BST. Don't expect too much.

From Graham Holland, TMS inbox: "Maybe Morrissey could re-release one of his recent singles 'Irish Blood, English Heart' to celebrate Eoin Morgan's first cap?"

1149: An apology, I earlier stated 25 overs constituted a match. Unfortunately the man to my left looked up the wrong document and the correct figure is a minimum of 20 overs. If you've got a few hours to spare, have a read through 44 pages of the ICC's playing conditions for one-day internationals (in PDF form):

From Eddie Smartie, North Somerset, text 81111: "Paul of Lancs suggests a 'drainage pool' as a quick solution to Headingley's woes. Perhaps we could ask Sir Peter Viggers MP how to install a "duck island" at the same time. At the tax payers' expense of course."

1135: I regret to report the skies are threatening another downpour as the groundstaff drag various pieces of plastic around the Headingley pitch. An interesting discussion on TMS with ex-England seamer Dominic Cork, who believes England will play Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar at Cardiff. Cork has been reliably informed by Glamorgan veteran Robert Croft the ball will turn at the Swalec Stadium. Interesting, along with the omission of Andrew Symonds from the Australia squad. How do you kill a circus? Go for the juggler.


From Paul, Lancs, TMS inbox: "Somewhat unexpectedly, I have in recent months developed a detailed understanding of underground drainage pipe disconnection issues, as a result of some local flooding associated with the prior decision by a local landowner-who-should-know-better to fill in ancient drainage pits in order to maximise mechanised cropping areas. The most convenient temporary solution to localised flooding is simply to dig a big ditch at the lowest point, and this is what I advocate for Headingley right now. These can also be used as somewhat more private birthing pool areas, as I feel giving birth in a puddle at midwicket is not in keeping with more recent NHS policy."

From matth-88 on 606: "I said yesterday that I'd put Prior at three. needs the freedom of five or six imo, we all know what he's like - but he can make decent scores. I'd have a look at Morgan too. I'd also like to play Bell, because I think he's a valuable player in ODI's, but with Strauss in the team there really is little room for him."
Discuss the day's play on 606

1121: Hurrah! The covers are coming off and the sun is sort of shining. Boo! Umpires Nigel Llong and Steve Davies say the outfield is very damp so no chance of imminent play. The minimum number of overs to constitute a game would be 25 overs a side. If the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon can record cricket songs, should we pester Morrissey into writing an opus on the glorious game? "Sweetness, sweetness I was only joking when I said by rights you should be plumb lbw, and now I know how Chanderpaul felt, now I know how Chanderpaul felt..."

From Rob Davies, Cumbria, TMS inbox: "Have you changed the font type from Arial Unicode MS back to Arial? I once appeared on the front of the Daily Mail dressed on my mother's bridal veil. To be fair it was a very slow news day."

1109: Apologies to those having problems accessing the TMS commentary at the moment, I'm flogging the backs of various techies to ensure the link is up and running again. In the meantime, why not have a listen to Ashley Giles talking about his fears for KP and Freddie this summer?

1103: Anyone remember the Divine Comedy? The band, not the classic book by Dante that is. Well, Neil Hannon, the one-man band who wrote the theme tune to Father Ted, has written a whole album of cricket songs called "The Duckworth Lewis Method", which sounds more like a prog-rock project to me. He talks to BBC entertainment reporter Colin Paterson about his new album.

From Colin Cooper, TMS inbox: "Looking at the puddles on the Headingley pitch, maybe they can replace your need for a birthing pool? Just get the pregnant women, legs akimbo sitting down at deep midwicket."

1054: More snippets from Jonathan Agnew, who thinks Middlesex's Eoin Morgan will make his England debut today, in place of the injured Kevin Pietersen, should the groundstaff manage to slurp the excess water in time before the 1630 BST cut-off. The predicted team goes thus: Strauss, Bopara, Prior, Shah, Collingwood, Morgan, Mascarenhas, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Anderson.

1049: Well done to all of you for noticing the spanking new auto-refresh system, which makes it long-awaited debut today, just don't go too crazy with your sponges and rusty spanners. According to Jonathan Agnew, there is an impromptu swimming pool on top of the covers, so maybe you can use your sponges for the good of cricket.

1040: The forecast isn't looking particularly rosy today, according to BBC weatherman Phillip Avery. The game can still go ahead - albeit in a truncated format - up until 1630 BST, the cut-off time for any action to take place, although no-one inside Headingley sounds remotely optimistic right now:


1035: What's wet and delays the start of one-day internationals at Yorkshire cricket grounds in May? It's raining at Headingley, and don't expect a prompt start because the sky is as grey as Sirralun's suit last night and wet as Ben's boardroom warblings. I mean, rocking horse for £1700? What planet do these people live on? No revised start time as yet, but there are huge swathes of puddles across the ground, which has just had a new drainage system installed at the start of the season, although according to Matthew Hoggard, a special guest on Test Match Special today, the drainage pipes have yet to be fully connected. Whoops. In the mean time, anyone know where I can buy a baby birthing pool from?

1030: Hello everybody peeps, a sponge and a rusty spanner to the first person to email/text/606 in to spot the deliberate change to our text commentary today.*

*Not actually a real competition, although a sponge and a rusty spanner will gain you entry to Buckingham Palace, if you believe Morrissey.



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see also
Pietersen out of one-day series
20 May 09 |  England
Gayle feels pressure as ODIs loom
20 May 09 |  England
Symonds misses out on Ashes squad
20 May 09 |  Australia
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
West Indies in England 2009
18 May 09 |  Cricket


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