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— 27 August 2020

England Test captain Joe Root’s return to county cricket was delayed as rain ruined the opening night Vitality Blast clash between Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire at Emerald Headingley.

Root was due to play for the hosts in this North Group fixture only two days after finishing the summer Test programme against Pakistan at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl on Tuesday.

But heavy rain from mid-afternoon onwards in Leeds forced umpires Peter Hartley and Neil Mallender to call the game off shortly after 7pm.

Since meeting in the second round of the Bob Willis four-day Trophy at Trent Bridge earlier this month, a fixture which Yorkshire won, bad weather has forced both sides to settle for draws in their following two fixtures.

And, despite a switch in format, that trend has continued, with both taking a point apiece this evening.

This was also a repeat of last season when rain forced the abandonment of the 2019 opening night fixture between the Vikings and the Outlaws.

Root’s availability moving forwards is unclear, although Yorkshire hope he will be able to play against Derbyshire here on Sunday (2pm).

His last Blast appearance came for Yorkshire against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford in July 2018, a defeat in which he scored 51 not out.

He has since made seven appearances for Sydney Thunder in Australia’s Big Bash competition either side of Christmas 2018 and four for England.

Nottinghamshire, meanwhile, face Durham at Emirates Riverside in their next fixture at 2pm on Saturday.