The first match of England’s one-day series with India was abandoned on Monday, as unrelenting rain in Bristol forced officials to call off the tie in the early afternoon, per Sky Sports Cricket:
First ODI at Bristol abandoned without a ball being bowled. We’ll try again at Cardiff on Wednesday #EngvInd— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) August 25, 2014
Nevil Road was set to host its first international match in four years after an impressive renovation, but such were the conditions that not a single ball could be bowled.
Grounds staff worked tirelessly to keep puddles from forming on the surface, with mechanical blotters constantly driving up and down the pitch, but the rain just wouldn’t let up, as England Cricket revealed:
The rain just hasn't stopped all day in Bristol pic.twitter.com/qCNgSrGosC— England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) August 25, 2014
All eyes were on Alex Hales heading into the clash, who was set to make his ODI debut opening with captain Alastair Cook in Bristol, but he now has to wait for his bow in the spotlight.
The Nottinghamshire star earned his call-up on the back of some impressive performances in Twenty20, and his big-hitting style is exactly what England need if they’re to reach the top of the one-day game.
That's something former spin bowler Graeme Swann agrees with too, as he told BBC Sport that Hales' selection had been a long time coming:
Hales should have been in this side for two or three years. He got 99 in a T20 international against West Indies at Trent Bridge. How did the powers-that-be not see that as the future of one-day opening bat? I used to sit in the changing room and always felt we were so far behind other teams because we play such an old-fashioned brand.
Hales' debut will now take place at the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff on Wednesday, weather depending, and there he can finally demonstrate his explosive batting credentials to the world.
As for Bristol, the wait to host top-class cricket goes on, and they’ll hope for better news from the weatherman when Sri Lanka are in ODI action on the Nevil Road turf in two years' time.