Weather ruins England's Ashes warm-up

Ben Stokes' return to cricket for England has been curtailed by wet weather in Brisbane.
Ben Stokes' return to cricket for England has been curtailed by wet weather in Brisbane.

England's hopes of a robust Ashes preparation have been doused by an unusually wet Brisbane spring as Ben Stokes faces the prospect of entering his first game of cricket in five months without any time in the middle.

But Australia isn't complaining, even if the dreary forecast leaves the hosts without a warm-up game of their own next week ahead of the December 8 Test start at the Gabba.

Only 29 overs were possible in the England v England Lions three-day tour match at Peter Burge Oval in Wellington Point, heavy storms wiping out play completely on Wednesday and Thursday.

Only openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed saw time in the middle, as skipper Joe Root and Stokes, who took time off with injury and mental health concerns, watched from the dressing room.

Instead they trained indoors at Brisbane's National Cricket Centre, while their teammates who competed in the Twenty20 World Cup are training separately on the Gold Coast until their quarantine period ends this week.

England are due to play another three-day game at Ian Healy Oval from Tuesday next week, while Australia have scheduled a three-day intra-squad game at Peter Burge Oval from Wednesday.

Those fixtures were set to determine the final XI for both sides but look unlikely to unfold in their entirety, if at all, given the deluge that is forecast over coming days.

A wet Gabba Test is the obvious fear but Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon isn't concerned considering what transpired there against India in January.

"I'm hoping it's (the pitch) a little bit different to what we had against India if I'm being brutally honest," he said in reference to the visitor's stunning fourth-innings chase that secured a historic upset win.

"I think there'll be a great challenge and hopefully a really good contest between bat and ball."

Now with some of the Australian squad on the Gold Coast, Lyon said Australia's preparations were "flying along" despite the sogginess.

"Off the back of the World Cup (title) and all those guys coming into quarantine here the feeling amongst the group has been exceptional," he said.

"I'm ready to go; I had two Shield games, the intensity of training here in quarantine has been exceptional.

"So I wouldn't be concerned if the weather plays a role in our lead up ... there's been some really good competition out in the middle and throughout the net sessions as well.

"We're feeling extremely confident going into a pretty amazing summer."

Australian Associated Press