Aussie legend predicts Stokes' Ashes fate

Rob Forsaith

Cricket Australia board member Mark Taylor can't envisage how Ben Stokes will feature in next month's Ashes opener.

England vice-captain Stokes remains under police investigation for a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub that left a man in hospital with facial injuries.

Earlier this week, police reiterated calls for key witnesses to come forward, while Stokes won't board the plane when England's squad fly out next week.

Selectors have added Steve Finn to the touring party as cover for Stokes, but the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is yet to rule out the prospect of their fiery allrounder featuring in the first Test that starts on November 23.

"It's going to be very difficult for the ECB to send Ben Stokes to Australia," Taylor told the Nine Network's website.

Will he come Down Under? Image: Getty

"The video evidence that we've all seen is going to make it very difficult for the English side to pick him."

Skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were both asked about the Stokes incident recently but shouldered arms.

Smith noted it was outside his side's control what happened to Stokes, while Warner added "everyone in the world is waiting to see what happens there".

Taylor suggested he would have been horrified if similar footage emerged during his time as captain of Australia.

"I'm not going to be too judgemental on Ben Stokes because I don't know the events of the night. I have no doubt that there was probably a lot of hassling going on," he said.

"It takes two to tango.

"But you can't deal with it that way, particularly when you're in the public eye.

"All you can really do in that situation is get out of there."