England and New Zealand left frustrated as play is washed out in Dunedin

Last Updated: 06/03/13 9:53pm

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The opening day of the first Test between England and New Zealand has been abandoned without a ball being bowled due to heavy rain.

The toss had taken place as scheduled under gloomy skies in Dunedin, with New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum winning it and choosing to bowl first.

However, the light deteriorated before the scheduled start and the rain was not too far behind.

While England will be frustrated by the loss of the day's play, it may prove a good toss to lose for the tourists, who are likely to find batting conditions far more in their favour on an extended second day - play will start half-an-hour early on each of the remaining four days - at the University Oval.

As well as the lack of on-field action, there was bad news for England as they confirmed key spinner Graeme Swann has been ruled out of the whole series and faces surgery on his right elbow.

Swann suffered discomfort in his bowling arm in last week's tour match against a New Zealand XI and was left out of today's first Test at the University Oval.

The hope is that he will be able to recover by early summer and may yet be able to play a part in England's year of back-to-back Ashes.

England are to call up Kent off-spinner James Tredwell for the remainder of the tour, having chosen left-arm orthodox Monty Panesar in this first match of three in Swann's place.

After persistent rain throughout the afternoon, the weather relented slightly. Following an inspection at tea, it was announced there would be a second one at 4pm local time, but the umpires decided there was insufficient time to get the ground playable and abandoned play for the day.

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