Stokes let down a lot of people, feels Warner
Brisbane, Nov 21 (IANS) Australia vice-captain David Warner has slammed suspended English all-rounder Ben Stokes for “letting a lot of people down” with his behaviour outside a nightclub in Bristol in September.
Warner, however, praised Stokes as a fierce competitor on the field and said he would have loved to face the Englishman during the upcoming five-match Ashes Test rubber, starting here on Thursday.
“I think it’s probably disappointing for the England team and the country. I think 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, and he’s a world-class player,” Warner was quoted as saying by espncricinfo here.
Stokes was withdrawn from England’s Ashes squad following his arrest in Bristol on September 25. According to footage circulated by the Sun newspaper, it showed him swinging punches at two men in an alley outside a nightclub at 2.30 a.m.
Stokes’ participation in the Ashes now depends on the English police, who are investigating the incident.
“It’s obviously up to the English police first. But at the end of the day he knows he’s made a mistake, and it’s about him getting the respect back from his players and fellow countrymen,” Warner said.
“If he does come out here we wish him well and hopefully he brings the fieriness that he does to the competition and to the cricket.
“I wish everyone well. We’re all sportsmen. We’re trying to achieve the same thing and that’s to win. So I wish everyone good luck,” the southpaw added.
The Ashes start on Thursday with the first game to be played at the Gabba here followed by the historic second day-night Test, starting December 2-6 at Adelaide.
The third match will be played from December 14-18 at Perth while the Boxing Day match will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the final Test from January 4-8 in Sydney.
Warner plays down injury scare ahead of Ashes opener
Brisbane, Nov 21 (IANS) Ahead of the Ashes opener on Thursday, Australia received an injury scare when vice-captain David Warner twinged his neck while taking a high catch on the Gabba outfield before leaving the playing area.
Warner, who immediately rushed to team physio David Beakley, however declared that a sore neck can’t rule him out of the high profile opening Test against England.
“My neck is quite stiff. I took a high ball out there and something just twinged in my neck. It’s quite sore, I haven’t really had a stiff neck like this one before,” Warner was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“I don’t think a sore neck is going to keep me out. I’m getting a bit of physio treatment at the moment and hopefully it will settle down in the next 24 to 48 hours,” he added.
The swashbuckling opening batsman averages almost 60 on home soil and will be a key figure in Australia’s push to regain the Ashes urn.
The southpaw is slated to open with debutant Cameron Bancroft, the in-form Western Australian who would be Warner’s 10th opening partner in Tests.