Cricket news - Rain dampens return of international cricket

17.4 overs. That's about as much action the first day's play witnessed when cricket returned from a 117-day hiatus. And all of that stop-start action came in the second session, after the first and the last one stood washed out to rain and wet outfield. So much for cricket's groundbreaking return and safety inside a bio-bubble but not much changed outside of it vis-a-vis the weather. It was a good ol' damp start to the English season.

Dom Sibley, coming into this game amidst much pomp around his weight loss, lasted only four balls at the crease, castled leaving the ball and getting cricket off to the most English of starts -- if the rain delay hadn't done that already. Gabriel got the ball to nip back in to Sibley after setting him up with outswingers: a plot that nearly got Rory Burns in the same over too. West Indies used one of their three reviews at disposal and ended up retaining it when the ball was projected to be clipping Burns' off-stump.

Joe Denly, batting at No. 3, provided some sense of calm in the middle thereafter even as the English batsmen had to keep going off due to sharp showers. It was ultimately bad light that put paid to the second session, that though short provided the only slice of action today and showed that West Indies aren't going to be pushovers. Not their bowlers at least.

Earlier, on a dryish pitch that stood spiced up under the covers, England's 81st Test captain Ben Stokes opted to bat, leaving out Stuart Broad in favour of a pace attack featuring both Jofra Archer and Mark Wood -- the two featuring together in a Test match for the first time. Dom Bess was the specialist spinner at a venue known to take spin but West Indies went the other way, leaving out Rahkeem Cornwall for a four-pronged pace attack featuring Alzarri Joseph.

Both squads also took the knee before the start of play in solidarity with the Black Lives Movement, which made for moving images and a strong social message. Both the squads also observed silence in memory of Sir Everton Weekes, who passed away recently aged 95.

The forecast is again for rain showers on Day 2 but the weather is set to be better for the last three days of the Test match. That's as of now. It just won't be cricket in England without the fickle weather predictions. And as frustrating as it is, it's good to know that not all of cricket as we know it has changed.

Brief Scores: England 35/1 in 17.1 overs (Rory Burns 20*, Joe Denly 14*; Shannon Gabriel 1-19) vs West Indies.