Headingley Test hit by opening-day washout

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THE FIRST day of the second Investec Test between England and New Zealand was washed out yesterday following persistent rain at Headingley.

Umpires Steve Davis and Aleem Dar decided to abandon play for the day shortly before 4pm, by which point even the most hardy supporters had departed the stadium.

After the excitement of the final day at Lord’s, when Stuart Broad’s seven-wicket haul fired England to a 170-run victory, yesterday proved a damp squib for all concerned. Amid dark skies and rain the toss was shunted from its scheduled time of 10:30am before the umpires had even inspected the pitch.

An early lunch followed but there was never a realistic chance of the players making it to the middle as the bad weather continued throughout the afternoon.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire chief executive Mark Arthur has warned that the current number of international grounds in 
England is “unsustainable”.

The six traditional Test grounds have been joined in recent years by Hampshire’s Rose Bowl, Glamorgan’s SWALEC Stadium and Durham’s ICG Stadium, while Bristol has ODI status and Taunton is close to being handed the same.

As a result the battle for matches – especially the most desirable mid-summer Tests and higher profile limited-overs games – is increasingly intense.

“Now there’s a huge bidding process with ten, soon to be 11, international grounds – it’s unsustainable really,” said Arthur.