Ashes 2017: Former Australia captain Steve Waugh says Australia will win 3-1 if England tours without Ben Stokes

Steve Waugh said, "I think if it was anyone in the Australian side, they wouldn't be picked and it's a bad image for the game," on Ben Stokes' controversy

AFP, October 12, 2017

Sydney: Test great Steve Waugh says England can't win the Ashes without Ben Stokes and the bad boy all-rounder would have been dumped immediately if he was Australian.

England vice-captain Stokes was arrested last month in Britain on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and suspended from internationals until further notice following an apparent fight outside a nightclub.

He was included in their Ashes squad but the England and Wales Cricket Board last week said he would not travel with the rest of the players when they leave on 28 October.

File image of Ben Stokes. AFP

File image of Ben Stokes. AFP

No final decision on his involvement has been made.

Former Australian captain Waugh, at the helm in 57 Tests for 41 victories, said England will not be the same threat without Stokes.

"If he doesn't come, I don't think they can win the Ashes," Waugh told Sky Sports Radio late Tuesday.

While Stokes is yet to be charged, he remains under investigation, and Waugh hit out at England's failure to immediately drop him from the Ashes squad.

"I think 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," he said.

"I think they (England selectors) are pretty keen for him to play in Australia... he's probably their best player, so it would be a real shame if he's not out here."

Stokes' absence from the five-Test tour, starting in Brisbane on 23 November, would be a huge blow for Ashes holders England, who have lost two out of their past three tours Down Under 5-0.

He is an explosive middle-order batsman and a dangerous right-arm fast medium bowler, and not being in Australia will pile more pressure on the likes of the experienced Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson.

"Without Ben Stokes, we'll win," said Waugh.

"It's too much pressure on Broad and Anderson, and they're getting a bit older, and I can't see them playing five Test matches straight.

"I think Australia will win 3-1."

Published Date: October 12, 2017 | Updated Date: October 12, 2017

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5313 121
2 South Africa 4484 115
3 Australia 4174 104
4 New Zealand 3489 100
5 England 4829 99
6 Sri Lanka 4374 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 7594 122
2 South Africa 6911 117
3 England 7496 117
4 New Zealand 7081 114
5 Australia 6376 112
6 Pakistan 4877 96
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3272 126
2 Australia 2513 126
3 India 4341 124
4 New Zealand 3013 116
5 West Indies 2538 115
6 England 2402 114