Rain delays start of England-West Indies Test series

The long-awaited return of international cricket was delayed by rain as England prepared to take on the West Indies in the first #raisethebat Test in the bio-secure bubble at the Ageas Bowl.

The last Test between New Zealand and India concluded on March 2, six days before the conclusion of the Women’s T20 World Cup, while England wrapped up their previous competitive outing in Johannesburg on January 27.

The skies were grey overhead as the umpires decided to push back the scheduled 10.30am toss, but the forecast suggested the day was not heading for a washout.

Ben Stokes will captain England for the first Test
Ben Stokes will captain England for the first Test (Adrian Dennis/NMC Pool/PA).

The three-match contest between these sides has been named the #raisethebat Series in honour of key workers all over the country who have helped tackle the coronavirus pandemic, with England players wearing individual names on the back of their training shirts.

The boundary boards on the perimeter of the pitch also carried the name of Sir Everton Weekes, the great Bajan batsman who died at the age of 95 last week.