England face being underprepared for the Ashes as second day of first warm-up match is washed out after rain-affected day one… just two weeks before the series kicks off at the Gabba
- The second day of England’s first warm-up match was pulled after heavy rains
- Rain also affected Tuesday’s opening day as the game had to be cut short
- Openers Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns had taken England to 98 without loss
England face being left unprepared to face Australia in the Ashes after rain washed out day two of their first warm-up match against England Lions.
Some of England’s biggest stars could head into the first Ashes test at the Gabba barely having faced a ball as wet weather has sunk both day one and two of their preparation.
Openers Haseeb Hameed (53) and Rory Burns (39) were able to shake off some rust in Tuesday’s opening day but the game was cut short due to rain at Wellington Point.
Rory Burns (centre) made unbeaten 39 before the rain came down during the second session
England were due to resume on 98 without loss with Hameed and Burns at the crease.
But an early call was made to pull the second day on Wednesday after heavy rains on the Queensland coast.
Thursday’s play could also be interrupted with an 80% chance of rain, according to the Australian Bureau of Meterology.
Haseeb Hameed scored an unbeaten half-century against England Lions in Brisbane
The continued poor weather could leave key members of England’s squad – notably Ben Stokes – at risk of being denied the chance to bat.
Stokes has been included in England’s Ashes squad after taking an indefinite break from all cricket in July to prioritise his mental well-being and rest a finger, which he had fractured.
Durham all-rounder Stokes, set to bat at No 5, made his last England appearance in a one-day international against Pakistan in July.
He was denied the chance to bat on day one and two but spent much of the lunch break on the opening day bowling, steaming in and looking sharp as he prepared for his first Test since March, which came against India in Ahmedabad.
Ben Stokes’ return to action was further delayed after no play was possible on day two of England’s Ashes warm-up
And Stokes could be kept waiting for a chance to bat with a similar forecast set for Thursday.
A second intra-squad match is also scheduled to take place next week in the same city at the Ian Healy Oval.
England’s Ashes squad members who were involved in the T20 World Cup have not been included in the warm-up match and will stay in quarantine for one more week.
The first Test at the Gabba starts on December 8 and the fifth and final Test is scheduled for Perth’s Optus Stadium on January 14.