Essex's LV=County Championship match with Hampshire was called off for a second day after heavy rain throughout the morning.

The Essex players and umpires, Steve Garratt and Mark Benson, were already on the field waiting for play to start at 11am when the rain started and sent them scurrying back to the pavilion.

Head groundsman Stuart Kerrison wasted no time on covering the pitch and the surrounds but as the weather quickly deteriorated - with the rain becoming torrential at times - pools of water appeared on the outfield.

With no let-up in the rain, play was called off for the day at 140pm.

Essex have now lost 10 complete days of County Championship cricket when not a single ball was bowled and three of the county's last four days of Championship cricket have been wiped out by the weather.

Last week, the final two days of the match with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham were called off and now the same fate has befallen the second scheduled day of this current match.

Hampshire have also been badly hit, losing the eqivalent of three entire games due to the rain.