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Off to a damp start

With a huge cover remaining resolutely in place over the pitch, while volunteers struggled to control giant England and Netherlands flags on the outfield, a temporary stage in front of the Pavilion, from which the singer Alesha Dixon had been due to perform, was hastily dismantled.

cricket Updated: Jun 06, 2009 01:19 IST

Old-timers in the Lord's Pavilion are used to hearing a variety of sounds - the smack of leather on willow as the batsman plays a shot and polite applause if the stroke reaches the boundary.

Some of them may have been less familiar with pop singer Pink's 'Get the Party Started', a tune that was blaring out over the loudspeakers at Lord's in the build-up to the opening match of the Twenty20 Cup between England and the Netherlands.

Sadly, for organisers and those who'd planned the tournament's opening ceremony, the weather was not in a party mood.

Leaden skies and rain, which delayed the scheduled 1600GMT toss, were not conducive to the kind of theatrics associated with Twenty20.

With a huge cover remaining resolutely in place over the pitch, while volunteers struggled to control giant England and Netherlands flags on the outfield, a temporary stage in front of the Pavilion, from which the singer Alesha Dixon had been due to perform, was hastily dismantled.

"Unfortunately, the opening ceremony has been canned," an International Cricket Council spokesman told reporters in the Lord's media centre.

ICC president David Morgan and the Duke of Kent addressed the hardy crowd before the start of the first match.