CHRISTCHURCH: Persistent rain forced the abandonment of the first day´s play of the first cricket Test between New Zealand and Pakistan at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Thursday.
Play had been expected to begin at 1100 local time (2200 GMT), but heavy rain overnight ensured it did not begin as scheduled.
While ground staff, who had said earlier they would need two hours to prepare the venue once rain stopped, worked to prepare the ground during brief interludes of fine weather throughout the day, umpires decided at their second pitch inspection at 1600 there was no chance of any play.
Both teams had turned up before the scheduled lunch break at 1300 and even begun warming up but they were forced off due to consistent showers sweeping across the ground.
The weather is expected to clear on Friday and remain fine for the remainder of the match.
Play will start half an hour earlier than scheduled on the second day, when the toss will be made.
A massive earthquake that jolted central New Zealand on Monday has taken some of the focus off the beginning of the host country´s Test cricket season.
New Zealand´s Kane Williamson is making his home bow as captain having succeeded Brendon McCullum, who retired from international cricket following the Test against Australia on the same ground in February.