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    Rain washes out first ODI between England and Australia

    Heavy and persistent rain flooded the ground and ruined any chance of play as umpires were forced to abandon the match.

    Leeds: The first one-day international between England and Australia in Leeds was washed out on Friday, as heavy and persistent rain flooded the ground and ruined any chance of play.

    Umpires Aleem Dar and Richard Illingworth had little option but to abandon hopes of any play taking place after inspecting the waterlogged outfield for a third time at 1.30 pm (1130 GMT).

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    Drenched groundstaff tried in vain to soak up and sweep away puddles which had grown larger by the hour on the grass and the large Headingley covers.

    But the relentless downpour gave them little respite and chance of beating the odds, leaving those few fans inside the ground - and many hundreds in the surrounding bars - frustrated and soon heading for home.

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    It was a disappointing and dismal start to the series after two previous days of hot, September sunshine and following the thrilling Ashes encounters that saw England triumph and tightly contested T20 clashes.

    Supporters will receive a full refund for a complete wash-out and the two teams will now have to wait until Old Trafford, Manchester, on Sunday to resume cricketing combat in the second of the ODIs.