DURHAM County Cricket Club remain hopeful that this Saturday’s ODI international between England and Australia will survive the weather.
A month’s worth of rain has been forecast to fall on the area over Friday and Saturday, which could well wreak havoc with what is supposed to be a big weekend of sport in the North East.
The English Schools Athletic Championship is also due to place at Gateshead over the weekend, while a Family Funday is set for Saturday afternoon at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.
Almost every ticket has been snapped up at the Emirates Durham ICG for the 50-over international clash between England and their old rivals, but fans fear a complete washout because if the weather forecasters have got it right then there is little chance of getting in a full days’ play.
Prolonged heavy rain is supposedly on its way with warnings of flooding being issued, along with thunder and lightning.
However, Durham Cricket’s Club’s media and PR manager Yvette Thompson said: “At this point in time we expect the game to go ahead.
“We have managed to get three Twenty20 games this summer finished when the weather forecast beforehand had been absolutely horrendous.
“We are preparing for Saturday’s game to go ahead because the forecasts have, in the recent past, been far from 100 per cent reliable. So we will see what happens.
“However, there is no panic on our own behalf. We are prepared if the rain comes.”
The North East local cricket scene has been decimated this year by the rain, with games being lost almost every weekend. The One-day international match is due to begin at 10.45am.
Yesterday’s match at Edgbaston in Birmingham was abandoned because of a waterlogged pitch (pictured below).
England now must wait for their chance to go top of the world one-day international rankings after rain frustrated their ambitions against Australia.
Birmingham suffered three washed-out days in the rain-ravaged third npower Test against West Indies last month, and yesterday bad weather prevented any play in the NatWest Series too.
Several times over, it seemed as if the third ODI might be about to get under way – albeit in a shortened format – only for rain to continually dash plans.
Finally, at 6.10pm last night, umpires Aleem Dar and Rob Bailey announced an abandonment which leaves England 2-0 up with two to play.
They can no longer therefore complete the 5-0 series whitewash they need to depose Australia at No.1 in the International Cricket Council rankings.
That would have seen them become the first team to top the table in all three formats.