Rain scuppers England's quest for No 1

England's hopes of becoming the world's number top-ranked one-day international side (ODI) during their series against Australia were ended after rain washed out the third ODI here Wednesday.

The match at Edgbaston was abandoned without a ball being bowled, with England 2-0 up in the five-match series.

However, England had to sweep this contest 5-0 to replace current table-toppers Australia at the head of the 50-over standings and so become the first team to be number one in all three formats, with the side already at the summit of the Test and Twenty20 rankings.

The umpires had hoped to get a reduced 28 overs per side match underway at 6pm local time (1700GMT) but fresh rain saw them decide that the minimum 20 overs pers side needed to constitute a match would not be possible and the fixture was abandoned at 6.11pm (1711GMT).

Soon afterwards, sun broke through and a rainbow was seen above the ground.

This washout means England cannot now lose the series, which continues at Chester-le-Street, the home of north-east county Durham, on Saturday.

But it also meant another disappointing international match for Edgbaston-based Warwickshire, who last month saw three out of the five days scheduled for the third Test against the West Indies at their headquarters ground washed out completely.

However, insurance means the Midlands county should not suffer too greatly in financial terms.

"You just want a good day out and the people we feel sorry for are the fans," said Warwickshire chief executive Colin Povey.

As for any economic implications, Povey added: "In terms of finance, the wash-out does not really impact on us financially.

"Today (Wednesday) we had pretty full cover on insurance so we had covered tickets and retail for this match because it is a big game for us, a big money-spinner.

"But at the end of the day it doesn't matter whether you've made your budget or not in a financial sense.

"You want to see England stuffing Australia and you want to see the stand rocking and people having a great time."

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