Injured Graeme Swann to miss entire New Zealand Test series as rain washes out opening day

Poor conditions wiped out any chance of play on the first day of the opening Test at Dunedin, while Swann faces surgery on an elbow injury which will rule him out of the rest of the series.

Cricket fans sit out the rainstorm at Dunedin.
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Graeme Swann has been ruled out of England's entire three-Test series against New Zealand after requring surgery on his elbow, officials said.

Persistent rain and poor light caused the first day's play at Dunedin today between the sides to be a washout.

New Zealand had won the toss and put England in to bat first, but poor outfield conditions ensured no play was possible at the University Oval.

Play will start half an hour earlier tomorrow as the teams look to make up for lost time.

Swann had a surprise omission from the England side to face the Black Caps, with Monty Panesar taking his place.

"Unfortunately his elbow's flared up so it's a bit of a blow for us," said Alastair Cook, the England captain.

"He's been for some scans in the last few days and is waiting for the results of those but clearly couldn't get through the five days."

The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed later in a statement: "England off-spinner Graeme Swann has been ruled out of the current Test series against New Zealand due to a right elbow injury.

"Swann will travel to the United States next week to have an operation on his right elbow and will then undergo a period of rehabilitation and recovery allowing an anticipated return to competitive cricket in the early summer.

"A further update will be available following the operation."

James Tredwell is expected to be called in to replace the 33-year-old.

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