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England cricket preparations for first Test disrupted by wet weather


The good news is they have another chance in a repeat fixture next week in Brisbane. The bad news is the same day seems to be forecast on loop for the Queensland capital, with showers and storms, possibly very heavy, predicted through to the weekend and into next week.

Should the weather claim the second warm-up game, that will leave England devoid of anything resembling some competitive cricket before they stroll onto the Gabba, where Australia has still a commanding record despite India winning a famous victory in January.

Stuart Broad and James Anderson talk with fans during Tuesday’s intra-squad match – it was as close as any outsiders got all day.

Stuart Broad and James Anderson talk with fans during Tuesday’s intra-squad match – it was as close as any outsiders got all day.Credit:Getty

The weather could well throw a huge cloud over the Australian preparations.

They will play a practice match from next Wednesday at Redlands in a fixture that may well end up deciding wicketkeeping and middle-order batting spots.

Then there is the Test itself, with Brisbane and Sydney the two matches likely at the mercy of the La Nina weather system that is now officially in place across the summer. Given the outlook, it would be a miracle if the ground staff don’t cover some miles during play at both venues.

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A dearth of lead-in cricket will only add to a strangely muted prelude, in cricketing terms at least. Both teams have been weathering storms off the field, with England’s players largely barred from wider media commitments until the report into the Yorkshire racism scandal is handed down later this week or early next week.

And Australian cricket has gone to war with itself over the treatment and subsequent availability of former captain Tim Paine, who stepped down from his post after reports emerged of him sending lewd messages to a former Cricket Tasmania staffer.

England and Australia will at least find common ground in wishing to have the focus returning to matters within the ropes. For that to happen, they need the unstable weather to co-operate, which now looks like the biggest longshot of the summer.



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