Ashes 2021: Ben Stokes comeback on hold as rain washes out England practice game

The return of talismanic all-rounder Ben Stokes after almost five months out suffered a setback when England’s three-day practice match was washed out on Thursday.

Stokes took an indefinite break from cricket in July to focus on his wellbeing and recover from finger surgery.

He had been due to pad up for the first time since then at Peter Burge Oval in Brisbane.

But persistent rain scuppered his preparations for the Ashes series against Australia starting on December 8.

Only 29 overs were bowled on Tuesday, with openers Rory Burns scoring 39 not out and Haseeb Hameed 53 not out against the England Lions.

No play was possible on Wednesday with the third and final day on Thursday also abandoned.

England have just one more game scheduled before the opening Test begins at Brisbane’s Gabba — a four-day, intra-squad warm-up from November 30.

Australia will have their only red-ball preparation ahead of the five-Test series from December 1, when they will begin a threeday game among themselves.