On days like yesterday, complaints about too much cricket look absurd. The poor, overworked lambs, their whites still folded, were out of the ground before 4pm with not a ball bowled in the third Test and lakes forming on the outfield.
They will try again today when the forecast is slightly better but a full shift of 90 overs is distinctly improbable. It is the sort of work undertaken by old-time Fleet Street printers, who turned up to claim their wages and sat around all night.
There was a brief period when the skies cleared long enough to suggest a toss might be possible in which case team line-ups would have been exchanged. Would Stuart Broad follow his new-ball colleague, Jimmy Anderson, in being rested? Would Sunil Narine make his Test debut for the tourists?
The answers to these must now wait until this morning. Given another day's break since the last match at Trent Bridge, Broad may be in. Whatever the chances of turn, Narine will be in, for West Indies have nowhere else to turn.
It was an expensive day for English cricket, as the bill for various elements of the lost day is split between the England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire. There will be full refunds for ticket holders, there were no food and drink sales and there will be Steve Davies' mileage claim from Horsham to Birmingham and back after Matt Prior's eye complaint cleared up sufficiently for him to play.
The last time a full day was lost in a Test match in this country was also at Edgbaston, in 2009, when the third day between England and Australia was abandoned. In all, there have been nine cancelled days this century (although five of the previous eight still had a positive result) whereas there were only six between 1980 and 2000, and this in the days of multiple super soppers and sophisticated drainage.
Global warming is a tricky business but by that rudimentary yardstick it's obviously getting wetter. Is there any future for Test cricket?
It is 25 years since two full days were lost to the weather in a Test in England (at Lord's with Pakistan the opposition), but there are distinct hopes of improvement by the weekend. The last time the first three days of a Test were called off was in 1954, at Lord's against Pakistan.
England will name their one-day squad for the series against West Indies at the end of this match. Graham Gooch, the team's batting coach, yesterday backed Jonny Bairstow, one of the probable candidates, who has had his troubles lately against the short-pitched ball. "You have to learn to cope with all sorts of bowling. If you're asking if I think there is a problem, the answer is no," he said. "He's an excellent player who has a good attitude and as far I'm concerned he will be an excellent Test player."
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- Caribbean Islands (west Indies)
- Graham Gooch
- Stuart Broad
- Trent Bridge