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Ben Stokes has let England down, David Warner wades in ahead of Ashes opener

Ben Stokes has let England down with his actions in recent months, according to Australia opener David Warner. Stokes was left out after a public brawl in Bristol.

cricket Updated: Nov 21, 2017 15:51 IST
By Alex Fisher
By Alex Fisher
Omnisport, Brisbane
Ben Stokes,David Warner,The Ashes
Australia batsman Chris Rogers (left) and David Warner run as bowler Ben Stokes looks on during day one of the 5th Ashes Test match between England and Australia at The Oval on August 20, 2015 in London. The first Test of the 2017 Ashes starts in Brisbane on November 23. (Getty Images)

David Warner has accused Ben Stokes of letting England down as the tourists prepare for the first Ashes Test with Australia in Brisbane on Thursday.

Stokes did not fly out with England and has been suspended by the ECB until the conclusion of a police investigation following the all-rounder’s arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm in Bristol in September.

The former England vice-captain was released without charge and remains part of the 17-man squad. Recent reports have suggested that he could play a part from the third Test onwards.

David Warner – who expects to play at the Gabba despite a stiff neck – hopes Ben Stokes makes it out for the series, but was in no doubt the 26-year-old had caused his side an unnecessary distraction.

“I think it’s disappointing for the England team and the country,” Warner told a news conference.

“He’s let a lot of people down. I would have loved for him to be out here because I know what a competitor he is on the field. He’s a world class player.

“He knows he’s made a mistake and it’s about him getting that respect back from his players and fellow countrymen.

“If he does come out here we’ll wish him well and hopefully he brings the fieriness that he does to the competition and to cricket.

“I wish everyone well. We’re all sportsmen and we’re trying to achieve the same thing, that is to win.”

Former England skipper Alastair Cook tried to play down Stokes’ absence, insisting the squad were solely focused on starting the series well.

“You can’t always pin your hopes on one guy,” said Cook.

“If there is a bonus of him making the trip at some stage, that would be great, but I can honestly say it hasn’t been spoken about in the changing room.”

First Published: Nov 21, 2017 15:40 IST