What’s the story?
Former Australian captain Steve Waugh has intensified the pressure on England all-rounder Ben Stokes and has asked the ECB to ban him.
He drew parallels with the Australian cricket team and said that if Stokes would have been an Australian, he would have never been picked after such an incident.
‘It’s a tough one. If it was anyone in the Australian side, they wouldn’t be picked. You can’t do that these days in public. It just didn’t look good and it’s a bad image for the game," Waugh told Sky Sports.
Waugh also said that England don't stand a chance in the Ashes without the services of the mercurial Stokes, as the pressure would be too much for James Anderson and Stuart Broad to deliver with the ball in the sweltry Australian conditions.
The former captain predicted a 3-1 win for Australia, saying that the ageing English side would not quite last the distance.
Apart from this, he said that he expects the crowds to be hostile and to get stuck into Ben Stokes if he takes the field, much like the way the English crowds treat Australia up in England.
In case you didn’t know…
Ben Stokes was withdrawn from the Ashes squad pending an investigation into an alleged brawl in Bristol.
The all-rounder was seen causing bodily harm to a 27-year-old man outside a nightclub in Bristol, forcing both the police and the ECB to initiate a probe and look into the matter.
England will take on Australia in the first Ashes test in Brisbane on November 23. Thus, even if Stokes is acquitted of all charges, he might not be able to make it to the squad for the first game.
Also, he will go into the series completely raw and oblivious of the Australian conditions since he will not be a part of the practice games.
There is little doubt that the absence of Ben Stokes will harm England's chances in the Ashes but no one can fault the ECB for imposing disciplinary penalties on the all-rounder owing to his rather hostile behaviour.