The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) posted a photo on Thursday of the team practicing indoors in Brisbane amid stormy weather in the Australian city. England’s preparation of the Ashes has been hampered by the weather with the first of the warm-up matches between them and England Lions being washed out.
With more rain on the forecast for early next week, there’s the prospect that England’s star players Joe Root and Ben Stokes could start the first Test without any practice in match conditions. Stokes especially is desperately lacking match practice, having not played any form of cricket since July. He last played a Test in March.
The wet weather could also affect Australia’s preparations, with a three-day intra-squad match scheduled for Peter Burge Oval from next Wednesday set to determine the final make-up of the home side for the Gabba Test.
The Australians are coming off a victory in the Twenty20 World Cup but have had limited preparation for long-form cricket and are uncertain over who will lead the Test team. Captain Tim Paine quit last week after details were published of a text-message scandal from four years ago. His replacement is set to be announced later this week.