England eye centre-wicket action

A welcome change of weather may allow England to actually get on the field in Brisbane.
A welcome change of weather may allow England to actually get on the field in Brisbane.

Ben Stokes is set to bowl his first ball in a competitive cricket fixture since July after the skies cleared in Brisbane ahead of next week's Ashes opener at the Gabba.

Stokes and his teammates watched from the dressing room as only 29 overs were bowled in the England v England Lions three-day Tour match at Wellington Point's Peter Burge Oval last week.

The rain returned in time to see the first two days rained out in their rematch at Ian Healy Oval in Brisbane's north this week.

But Joe Root's men have reported to the ground on Thursday and will bowl first against the Lions in a fixture that will continue on Friday.

Root and star teammates Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Stokes are yet to face or bowl a ball in any form of competitive centre-wicket play since arriving in Australia.

Fresh off a mental health break that followed an injury-interrupted season, allrounder Stokes hasn't played any form of cricket since July, while his last Test match was in March.

Australia called off play in their planned intra-squad fixture that was due to be played at Peter Burge Oval, the side instead completing an indoor nets session at the National Cricket Centre.

Australian Associated Press