Former England captain and now ECB director of cricket Andrew Strauss says the uncertainty surrounding the fate of allrounder Ben Stokes is harming England’s chances of winning the Ashes in Australia.
Stokes is currently suspended because of his involvement in a brawl outside a nightclub in Bristol and is facing a police investigation as well as an enquiry from the ECB.
The Durham player did travel with the England side to Australia and his chances of taking part in the first Test, starting on 23 November in Brisbane, look very slim.
On the back of the uncertainty surrounding Stokes England have drifted out to 3/1 (4.0) to win the Ashes down under with many suggesting that without Stokes in their line up even that price is too short.
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You might be best placed to wait until a resolution to the Stokes fiasco though especially when the head of English cricket is admitting the situation is having a negative impact.
Strauss told the BBC: “The situation, in a word, is complicated. There’s two different potential disciplinary procedures he has to go through, one is the ECB’s internal one and the other is any potential police action.
“Until we know more from the police, it’s very hard for us to put a timeline on anything. What we all want is clarity on what that situation is and how much cricket he will be missing for England.
“We’re keen to get into that and move this forward but we’re in the hands of the police. Ben has been and is developing into a world-class cricketer.
“The fact he’s not out there at the moment is a blow to the England team.”
The tourists have already played their first warm-up game own Down Under, drawing a two-day game against a Western Australia XI in Perth and will now move on to Adelaide where they will play a four-day match against a Cricket Australia XI from Wednesday.