The opening day of the Specsavers County Championship Division One clash between reigning champions Middlesex and third-placed Hampshire was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to unfit playing conditions at Uxbridge Cricket Club.

Heavy rain on Monday evening ran down the slope at the Park Road sports complex and crept under the covers and sheets leaving umpires Graham Lloyd and Russell Evans with little option but to call things off after their second inspection at 11am.

Groundstaff had used heat lamps and a 'Supersopper' from the early hours in a bid to improve conditions but their efforts proved useless in the face of sodden conditions and heavy waterlogging.

However, Richard Scott, the Middlesex head coach, remained phlegmatic despite the loss of the entire opening day.

He said: “We’re victims of being on an outground at this time of year. The groundstaff have tried their hardest to keep it dry over the past few days but we had torrential rain here yesterday and the surrounds and parts of the bowlers’ run-ups have got very wet.

“It’s frustrating, especially when you see other games going on around the country, but we usually come here and the outfield is white and we’ve got a rock-hard pitch.

"We’ll just have to bite the bullet today then hopefully the rain stays away tonight and we’ll have a good go tomorrow.”

Hampshire director of cricket Giles White said: "Unfortunately the weather's beaten us.

"There was water on the wicket and the run-ups at the far end  could become a bog if we played a session on it so it's the right call.

"It's very frustrating and disappointing for everyone with the sun out on a nice September day."