The one day international between Ireland and the West Indies was called off without a ball being bowled at a soggy Stormont Cricket Ground today.

Despite sunny but windy conditions at the Belfast venue, umpires Michael Gough and Mark Hawthorn decided to call off the game just after lunchtime due to the fact that heavy overnight rain left the outfield "unfit for play".

The 50-over ODI was due to start at 10.15am but that was delayed by three inspections, and the final one after lunch was the decisive one.

With rain falling, the game was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

The umpires, after consultation with both captains William Porterfield and Jason Holder, informed match referee Javagal Srinath of their decision and he finally put the crowd out of their misery.

"If it was a club game we would have been on the pitch in the sunshine early on," former Ireland opening batsman Jeremy Bray told RTÉ Sport.

"The umpires and the match referee ultimately made the decision, but if the captains were willing to play and understood the risks, then were should have at least have had a start to the game

"If we wanted to start the game, we could have had a captain's agreement with William Porterfield telling the Windies that the home side would agree to bowl first to allay any fears the West Indies may have had about the soggy outfield.

"It’s a real shame we got no play, but it’s down to the umpires and referee in the end."

It ends Ireland's disappointing ODI season but they have been boosted by their elevation to that of full member status within the International Cricket Council (ICC) and with it Test status for the first time.

The hope is that Ireland’s men's side will play their first ever first five-day Test match in Dublin in 2018 with Pakistan in line to play in Malahide in June. 

Ireland will be in action again on 29 November on day one of their final Intercontinental Cup match against Scotland in the UAE. 

The one-off match was set to be Ireland's first against a Test-playing nation since they were granted full member status by the International Cricket Council in June.

The return of big-hitting Windies opener Chris Gayle will therefore be further delayed until the start of the limited-overs campaign against England. He has been absent from ODIs during a breakdown in relations between some of the players and their employers.

Victory for the Windies at Stormont would have kept them on schedule for an outside shot at automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup in England.

The ICC confirmed after the abandonment that the Windies must beat England 5-0 - or 4-0, including a no-result or tie - if they are to book their direct involvement in 2019's global tournament. Otherwise, the two-time World Cup winners must battle through a qualifying tournament.