Jofra Archer’s eagerly-anticipated England Test debut has been put on hold as the first day of the second Ashes Test match at Lord’s was washed out before a ball had been bowled.
In fact, the most exciting moment of the bleak day at the home of cricket came when fast bowler Archer, who helped England win the World Cup earlier this summer, was handed his first cap by Sussex team-mate Chris Jordan.
Only eight of Jordan’s 78 England appearances have come in the five-day format but he was easily the most apt choice to welcome his fellow Barbadian into the fold, having helped the man he calls a ‘little brother’ swap the Caribbean for Hove three years ago.
When Jordan presented Archer with his Three Lions cap, shortly before 3pm, there was still hope of seeing him in action but fading hopes of getting captains Joe Root and Tim Paine to complete the toss disappeared as another heavy downpour struck.
Forecasts are better for day two, when the famous old ground will turn red in support of the Ruth Strauss Foundation – a lung cancer charity set up to honour the late wife of Andrew Strauss, the former England captain and director of men’s cricket.
Fans have been asked to wear the colour and both teams will wear limited-edition caps and shirts to be auctioned off, one of several fund-raising initiatives in place on Thursday.
Play will be extended by half an hour on each of the remaining four days, meaning only one session has been lost to the weather at this stage.
England, who have yet to reveal whether Sam Curran or Jack Leach will take the final place in their side, are 1-0 down after their heavy loss in the series opener at Edgbaston but will be buoyed by the presence of Archer’s formidable 90mph pace.