NOTTINGHAM, June 14 -- It was called off only at 3pm local time after the umpires, Marais Erasmus and Paul Reiffel, walked out for their fourth and final inspection-this time, suggestively, under umbrellas. But the fans, predominantly Indian, at the Trent Bridge had known a lot earlier, and the majority spent this overcast day in the pubs and inns surrounding this beautiful ground.

The sprinkle of faithfuls (and hopefuls too) who remained inside the stadium would've noticed the umpires step out in intervals of 60 minutes after the scheduled 10:30am start and use the pointy end of those umbrellas (shut and fastened) to poke and prod about the field.

While the central wicket slept under a bed of plastic all day, the umpires often inspected ...