Ben Stokes can’t play for England cricket team right now: Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen says even though he likes watching Ben Stokes play, the all-rounder shouldn’t represent England cricket team at a time criminal investigations against him are still underway.cricket Updated: Oct 10, 2017 14:55 IST
Former cricketer Kevin Pietersen said that as much as he likes to see Ben Stokes ‘smash it’ on the field, he has advised the suspended England vice-captain against travelling to Australia for the upcoming Ashes 2017-18.
Stokes is currently on an indefinite suspension handed by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), after he was arrested for a night causing bodily harm to a man outside a Bristol nightclub Mbargo. Along with Stokes, Alex Hales was also suspended indefinitely.
Stokes was named in England’s touring party to Australia despite his arrest, but a video that surfaced soon after the incident showed the 26-year-old cricketer ‘raining punches’ on a man outside the club, led to his suspension. Stokes has been dropped from the Ashes squad and Steven Finn has been named his replacement.
The outcome of the ongoing investigation from Avon and Somerset police will play a huge role in deciding Stokes’ immediate future, as ECB await police to finish their task.
According to cricket.com.au, Pietersen told The Sunday Times, “I can hardly watch the bit at the end, it is horrendous. That 45-second video is brutal. The more you watch it the more shocking it is. I have watched it with some influential leaders in business and the general view was, ‘you cannot represent your country with a video like that going around’. It is a view I agree with.”
“Whether you like it or not, you become someone that people look up to. Someone that kids look up to. You cannot play for your country if you carry on like that. You cannot represent that badge. The more that you watch that video, the worse it gets. It is horrible, I can hardly watch the bit at the end, it’s horrendous,” Pietersen was quoted as saying.
Can’t play for England right now
The former England captain, who was axed unceremoniously following their 5-0 hammering Down Under on the last tour, says Australia will not be an ideal place for Stokes right now.
“Australia is a hostile place and I don’t think with his personality, at least from what we have seen, I just don’t think it will work in Australia. Not this time. I wanted to look for excuses because I really like Stokesy and love watching him smash it,” he said.
Pietersen feels this is not the time for Stokes to be brought back on the field. “Whatever the rights and wrongs of the case, I just don’t think you can play for England right now,” Pietersen said.
“People get fined and suspended for bad timekeeping, swearing, for appealing too much. I don’t think that you can represent your country in the next Test match after that,” said Pietersen.
“As a bloke he is one of the real good guys in the dressing room. He is a funny guy, just the heart and soul of the dressing room. I want to feel sorry for him. The world has seen this video. You cannot walk on proud as punch representing your country after this,” he said.
First Published: Oct 10, 2017 14:55 IST