The third Investec Test at Edgbaston became the first in England for almost half-a-century to suffer a washout for each of the first two days.
As persistent rain showed no signs of moving away from Birmingham, umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Tony Hill abandoned play shortly after lunch without a ball bowled for the second successive day.
No toss or exchange of teams has yet taken place in this final Test of a series England have already won – after victories over the West Indies at Lord’s and then Trent Bridge.
The last time a home Test failed to start before day three was in 1964, when England and Australia were kept off the field at Lord’s.
This double washout means there is still a chance the tourists’ lynchpin batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul may be able to take part after all, despite a side injury.
Chanderpaul had a scan on Thursday, and a slight side strain rather than a tear has been diagnosed.
It will be the end of this tour for the left-hander if he does not feature here.
Chanderpaul, below, has not played limited-overs cricket for his country since last year’s World Cup, and is not in the West Indies squad for either three NatWest Series one-day internationals or a one-off Twenty20 against England.
Back to this final Test, a minimum of 156 overs have been lost – with only eight extra overs permitted on each of the final three days, assuming no further interruption from the weather.
Today’s forecast is significantly better.
England will have precious little time nonetheless to try to close out a 3-0 whitewash – although there is minor encouragement in the reduction of the follow-on from an initial 200 to 100 for what has become a three-day match, at best.