Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Twenty20 called off a day early

Chester-le-Street has been left unplayable after recent heavy rain.

England's one-off Twenty20 international against South Africa has been abandoned a day in advance because of heavy rain. The ICC match referee Roshan Mahanama called off the game on Tuesday afternoon in consultation with the ground staff after deciding there was no chance of the ground being ready.

With Chester-le-Street having been under water for a week, Kevin Pietersen will have to wait to lead England for the first time in this form of the game. The match would have represented a final chance for England's players to make a mark ahead of November's Stanford matches which are worth millions.

"The ECB were advised by Durham that there were concerns about the state of the ground following a considerable amount of rain in the last week," said a statement. "The ECB then called in the ICC match referee who along with the ECB match umpire Nigel Llong inspected the ground this (Tuesday) afternoon.

"An early decision was taken because the weather forecast was poor for the next 24 hours and to prevent spectators making an unnecessary journey. Ticket holders will be eligible for a full refund. The refund policy is detailed on the back of the tickets."

Owais Shah was slated to come in at No 3 with his new captain favouring boosting him up the order as he felt he was "wasted" at No 7. Jacques Kallis was to have opened for South Africa who had been forced to practise inside.

The teams will now meet in the first of five ODIs at Headingley on Friday.