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Rain scuppers England’s Ashes preparations

Persistent rain has led to an early descision to cancel play on day two of England’s tour match against the England Lions in Brisbane.

Peter Burge Oval in the coastal suburb of Wellington Point received close to 90mm of rain after play was halted just after lunch on Tuesday, with England cruising at 0-95.

With more showers forecast for Wednesday the prospect of a full day’s play on day three is also unlikely.

The three-day match is one of just two opportunities for the England squad to gain match practice before the Ashes opener from December 8.

Instead Test players were set to complete an indoor session at the National Cricket Centre, while the members of the squad that competed at the Twenty20 World Cup remain in their own bubble training on the Gold Coast.

The rain, expected to linger for the rest of the week, has scuppered Ben Stokes’ cricketing return after almost five months out of the game due to mental health concerns.

The dreary forecast could also have an impact on next week’s crucial Australia intra-squad three-day match at Peter Burge Oval, which is set to determine the final make-up of the XI to play at the Gabba.

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