What’s the story?
In the latest development to the Ben Stokes saga, the England and Wales cricket board has decided that the all-rounder will not travel too Australia as of now with the rest of the England squad.
Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn has been named as a replacement for Stokes.
"With the Ashes just around the corner, it's important to give the players, the coaching staff and supporters some clarity around a complex situation," Andrew Strauss, the director of English cricket informed.
Strauss also said that the decision needed to be made so that the other players could focus solely on the job at hand and not worry about the activities which are transpiring elsewhere.
Also, he praised the worth of Steven Finn and said that he is a high-quality player and has ample experience of both International as well as Australian conditions which will only benefit the side.
However, the former England captain said that the decision was communicated to Stokes and he was assured that this will in no way hamper the police investigation which is going on currently.
Apart from Stokes, other players namely Jonny Bairstow, Liam Plunkett and Jake Ball have been given a written warning owing to the inadvertent behaviour during the just-concluded ODI series against West Indies.
In case you didn’t know…
Earlier the England all-rounder was suspended from the ODI squad when footage of him being involved in a brawl emerged where it was quite clear he used physical force to shove aside an elderly gentleman.
Bristol police arrested him, but he was released later. However, the ECB and the police have both set-up probes to find details of the incident.
The results of the inquiry/probe by the police will offer better clarity into the entire sequence of events but as of now this decision to axe Stokes from the primary touring party makes all the sense.
England will be shortchanged owing the absence of Ben Stokes who has fast emerged as their x-factor across all conditions, but owing to the prevalent circumstances, the team has to skirt the issue and look for ways and means to rally around in Australia.