Persistent rain fell all day, after heavy rain overnight, and play was finally called off at 1535 local time. By that stage almost all of the spectators had left and they will be entitled to a full refund on their tickets.
England, seeking a 3-0 series sweep after wins at Lord's and Nottingham, said earlier in the day that wicketkeeper Matt Prior [ Images ] had recovered from an eye infection and would play despite reserve Steven Davies being called up as a replacement.
The last time a full day of Test cricket was lost to the weather in England was in 2009, when the third day was washed out against Australia [ Images ], also at Edgbaston.
The previous time a full opening day's Test play was lost in England was in 2007, when West Indies visited Durham.
The forecast is also gloomy for Friday. The last time the first and second day's play were lost in a Test in England was 48 years ago when Australia were at Lord's.