GRAHAM Fordís hopes of having eight daysí cricket for players and selectors before the squad for the first Test is chosen were dashed on day two when the second day of the trial game at Merrion was abandoned without a ball bowled.

Play had actually been brought forward to start at 10.30am yesterday but, right on cue, the rain arrived and with no respite, the match was abandoned immediately after lunch with Team 2 (The Possibles) unable to bat.

The teams will try again tomorrow when the Ireland coach and everyone else moves to Pembroke for another two-day game with the Possibles, including James Shannon, Jack Tector, James McCollum and John Anderson batting first this time.

Day 5 of red-ball action for the players will be Saturdayís club programme, when the NCU club season gets under way, a week after North West and Leinster, although only one Premier League game was played in Dublin because of the after-effects of this monthís rain.

The other three dayís cricket which will be played before the selectors finalise the 13 for the Test against Pakistan will be the first inter-provincial of the season between Leinster Lightning and North West Warriors but, six days out that venue has also been changed with Oak Hill in Co Wicklow yesterday ruled not fit to stage a first-class match.

The new venue is Sydney Parade which last staged a first-class fixture in 1965 when Ireland played Scotland in the, then, annual fixture. Scotland won that game by an innings inside two days!