England vs West Indies 1st Test: Rain plays spoilsport in first cricket match post COVID-19 hiatus
England vs West Indies 1st Test: Rain plays spoilsport in first cricket match post COVID-19 hiatus

It was not long ago when India vs South Africa - the last international cricket match before COVID-19 affected the entire sporting world - was delayed due to rain in Dharamshala in March.

Four months later, on Wednesday, July 8, the first international cricket match between England and West Indies post COVID-19 hiatus has been delayed due to light rain.

The covers were on the field at the Rose Bowl in Southampton when the toss was due to be made at 10.30 a.m. local time (0930 GMT). The players were on the outfield warming up, though.

Rain was forecast for much of the opening day. The remainder of the five days, however, is with sunshine and temperatures of 20C.

England's Ben Stokes will be leading the team in absence of regular skipper Joe Root, who left the biosecure bubble in Southampton for Sheffield, to be with his wife, who is expecting their second child.

Former Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar believes all-rounder Stokes will lead England from the front and would do whatever it takes to take his side to victory in the first Test.

"First of all I would like to wish all the best to Joe Root because that's a big moment in this family. I wish him all the best," Tendulkar said during a conversation with West Indies legend Brian Lara for 100MB.

"For Ben Stokes from what he has been through in the recent past to where he is today, it is a total transformation and it can happen only to someone who is mentally strong.

"When I first looked at him a few years ago, I could see his body language, it was so positive and vibrant and that energy is infectious. I felt that he was one of those players where in time to come you look back and say Ben stokes, Andrew Flintoff, Ian Botham -- these are the leading all-rounders who played for England," he added.

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