Mark Robinson is relieved to have a full days play in the bank as rain thwarted the second day of Warwickshire’s pre-season friendly against Worcestershire.

On Monday, two matches between the local rivals took place at Edgbaston and the nearby Edgbaston Community Sports Ground with 90 and 100 overs possible, respectively.

But whilst there seemed to be a small window on Tuesday morning, the expected rain followed, ensuring a washout, and putting the final day in jeopardy. 

“We’re lucky we’ve got two good venues and credit to all the ground staff for their hard work,” said Robinson. “We knew it would be tough with the forecast, so that’s why we agreed to split the first day to make sure everyone can get the opportunity.

“We’re a bit short of where we’d like to be in terms of volume, but I’ve talked to the team and reassured them that a lot of them have played a lot of cricket. 

“The preparation hasn’t been perfect, but we’re grateful to Gary (Barwell) who has done a great job as everyone knows how much it’s rained.

“What practice days like Monday give you is reality. You’ve got the opportunity to bat all day and that’s a habit and mentality you want to get back into. For the bowlers, it was about finishing off overs and bowling under pressure on heavy ground. 

“There are a few batters who feel they haven’t hit enough balls as they’d like, but that’s the situation. We won’t be the only team feeling like this and you can only deal with the cards you get. We’ve done some good things and there are things we want to do better on that first day. That’s why you play practice games to iron things out and give the reality of where we are.”

Whilst the weather puts a dampener on preparations, the news of Hassan Ali’s arrival and Chris Woakes return offers a ray of sunshine. 

The Pakistan international, who has agreed a deal that will see him play the full Vitality Blast campaign, including any potential knockout games and the LV= Insurance County Championship until the end of July, arrives on Saturday and could be in the frame to make his debut in the opening fixture of the season.

“In terms of availability, we’re, touchwood, going in the right direction,” said the 56-year-old with one hand on the table. “Hassan arrives in the country on Saturday, all being well, so we’ll see where he’s at. Hopefully, he’ll be available for selection at the Somerset game, but we’ll see where he is body-wise and how it’s coming out. Woakesy is building up for hopefully the second game.

“Danny Briggs and Chris Rushworth are the slowest coming back, with Rushy tweaking his calf before South Africa. He’s down on overs of where he’d like to be, but he’s progressing quickly. Briggs, with his knee, is slower than we’d like as he’s walking gingerly on it, but he’s got more overs in at Portland Road and time in the middle.

 “Rhodes tweaked his ankle, he can’t bowl at the minute, but he fielded and batted, so there are no dramas at present.”

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