HAMPSHIRE have loaned Fidel Edwards to the Birmingham Bears for ten Vitality Blast fixtures.

The West Indian fast bowler has been outstanding for Hampshire this season, taking 40 wickets at 23.9 in the Specsavers County Championship.

Although he made three appearances during the county’s One-Day Cup campaign (five wickets at 33), the 37 year-old signed a red-ball contract at the start of the season and will be with the Bears for the next month.

Edwards was due to make his debut for his second county against Worcestershire at New Road last night but, like Hampshire’s match against Sussex at The Ageas Bowl, it was abandoned without a ball bowled.

He is now set to play his first game for the Bears against Leicestershire at Edgbaston tomorrow.

Edwards will return to Hampshire in time for their next Championship match, against Surrey at The Kia Oval on August 18.

Meanwhile, Kent’s visit to the Ageas Bowl tomorrow (2.30pm start) will be their first game of this year’s competition.

Hampshire's opener against Sussex was washed out after the visitors' skipper Luke Wright had won the delayed toss and elected to bowl first in a re-jigged 14 overs-a-side match.

Soon before the scheduled start time of 8.15pm the rain returned and any chance of any action was ended at 8.45pm by umpires Graham Lloyd and David Millns.

Surrey’s opening match of the Vitality Blast against Essex at Chelmsford was the only South Division match to survive the weather last night.

Essex, beaten by AB De Villiers stunning 43-ball 88 not out on debut for Middlesex at Lord’s on Thursday, amassed 226-4 with South African Cameron Delport smashing 129 from just 49 balls, before completing a comfortable victory.

The 37-year-old has had another stellar four-day campaign for James Vince’s side, sitting sixth in the list of top wicket-takers in Division One after claiming 40 wickets at an average of 23.90 in 10 fixtures so far this season.