Vaughan: Stokes is no hope for Ashes

The Observer - - SPORT CRICKET -

FORMER Eng­land cap­tain Michael Vaughan has poured cold wa­ter on Ben Stokes’ hopes of play­ing in Aus­tralia, be­liev­ing the con­tro­ver­sial all-rounder is lit­tle chance of tak­ing part in the Ashes or even the ODI se­ries de­spite be­ing named.

Stokes and Alex Hales have been in­cluded in Eng­land’s 16-man squad how­ever their nam­ing is pro­vi­sional at this stage.

Stokes hasn’t been sighted for Eng­land since Septem­ber when he was in­volved in a brawl out­side a bar in Bris­tol.

That fra­cas saw Stokes placed un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for caus­ing ac­tual bod­ily harm and the case is cur­rently in front of the UK’s Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice.

Stokes has not been charged but has played no role in the Ashes, with the ECB sus­pend­ing him un­til fur­ther no­tice as a re­sult of the in­ci­dent.

Vaughan can­not see that ban be­ing lifted in time for the ODI se­ries, telling BBC 5: “There is no chance Ben Stokes will play cricket in Aus­tralia this (UK) win­ter.”

“It’s very con­fus­ing but I don’t think any­thing has changed re­ally,” Vaughan said. “It’s the same sit­u­a­tion we are in now, he’s not here play­ing for Eng­land be­cause he is not deemed se­lectable.”

Eng­land fans have been left con­fused by the ECB’s re­fusal to pick Stokes con­sid­er­ing they have given him per­mis­sion to play for Can­ter­bury in New Zealand and his se­lec­tion in the ODI squad is only go­ing to fur­ther muddy the is­sue.

Vaughan is sym­pa­thetic to this con­fu­sion but said the ECB’s hand has largely been forced through­out this saga.

“They don’t want to prej­u­dice any kind of case mov­ing for­ward. They had to in­clude him in the squad.

“But I would bet my bot­tom dol­lar that un­less this case comes to an end very quickly, there is no chance Ben Stokes will play cricket in Aus­tralia this win­ter.”

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