England are washed out again

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The Independent Online

England's players were forced to look on in frustration yesterday as the rain continued to wreck their Cable & Wireless one-day series against the West Indies.

The fourth match was abandoned here without a ball being bowled allowing Paul Collingwood, the team's all-rounder, to reflect on his good fortune after breaking his nose when running into a basketball pole. A millimetre here or there and the injury would have been much worse, causing a lengthy lay-off, in which case the nose would have been put metaphorically out of joint.

"It's embarrassing, I was thinking I was Michael Jordan," he said. "I had a big jump towards the basket, laid the ball off, it went round the ring and I was looking at it, still running and went very hard into a big metal post. It sounded like a baseball bat had hit it. I knew it was broken straightaway and I did get a bit of a panic on."

Collingwood, who missed most of last season with a dislocated shoulder, would have been fit to take his place in the England side yesterday had there been any play in the fourth match. Only one, rain-reduced game has been completed in the seven-match series, the curtain-raiser in Guyana which those with long memories can recall that England apparently won.

While Collingwood will doubtless remember his collision forever, he and his colleagues passed up the chance to visit the basketball post that really matters here. In 1983, the socialist Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop, was tied to it by military rebels and summarily executed.