England duo unbeaten as Ben Stokes waits for return in rain-hit tour opener

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes’ return to action has been delayed after the opening day of England’s warm-up match against England Lions in Brisbane was cut short due to rain.

Stokes has been included in England’s Ashes squad after taking an indefinite break from all cricket in July to prioritise his mental well-being and rest a finger, which he had fractured.

England openers Haseeb Hameed (53 not out) and Rory Burns (39 not out) had taken England to 98 without loss before play was halted early in the second session in Wellington Point.

Durham all-rounder Stokes, set to bat at number five, made his last England appearance in a one-day international against Pakistan in July.

England’s Ashes squad members who were involved in the T20 World Cup have not been included in the warm-up match and will stay in quarantine for one more week.

The first Ashes Test at the Gabba starts on December 8 and the fifth and final Test is scheduled for Perth’s Optus Stadium on January 14.