With Ben Stokes out from England’s One-Day International team for the upcoming fourth game against West Indies, former England star Kevin Pietersen has a word of advice for his country ahead of the all-important Ashes in Australia.
The England all-rounder faced the axe for Wednesday’s (September 27) game after he was arrested outside a nightclub in Bristol following his alleged involvement in a brawl. But while reports are suggesting that Stokes is likely to be stripped of the vice-captaincy, it is very much unlikely that the latest turn of events will affect the team selection for the Ashes.
Former captain and England director of cricket, Andrew Strauss has already made it clear that the selection will be carried out on the basis form and fitness.
“Selectors have been instructed to select the Ashes squad based on form and fitness as they normally would,” Strauss was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
However, in case Stokes faces a lengthy suspension and misses out on an Ashes berth, Pietersen feels Joe Root & Co. should not bother about going to Australia for the five-Test series.
Expressing his shock over the news, Pietersen tweeted: “OH NO! Major Ashes scare! If Stokes doesn’t go to Aus, then England should just stay at home!.”
Major Ashes scare!
If Stokes doesn't go to Aus, then England should just stay at home! https://t.co/chG7zrxhjo
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) September 26, 2017
Pietersen’s former teammate and captain Michael Vaughan also backed Stokes to make it to Ashes squad but slammed the allrounder for his conduct.
“The facts are the England vice-captain was out at 2.30am, drinking two days before an England game and he has hit someone,” Vaughan wrote in his column for The Telegraph. “What this has done is cast a massive shadow over the England team at the worst time … he could be charged.”
Vaughan also feared that the 26-year old would be goaded by the Australians right from the time he lands for the much-awaited series.
“In Australia, he will be goaded from the moment he arrives,” Vaughan wrote.“In time we could be describing him as a cricketing genius. But he has to understand that if he wants to be a superstar, and go over to India and earn huge IPL contracts, and keep them, he has to be careful off the field.