Starc Stokes fire for Ashes showdown
Australia paceman urges crowd to make life difficult for star England allrounder if he tours
10 October 2017, 03:12 PM AEST
Fast bowler Mitchell Starc has urged Australian fans to "get stuck into" England bad boy Ben Stokes if he makes the trip for the upcoming Magellan Ashes, calling for them to be "very loud".
Test vice-captain Stokes was arrested last month in Britain on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and suspended from internationals until further notice following a fight outside a nightclub.
He was released without charge but remains under investigation.
Stokes was included in the Ashes squad but the England and Wales Cricket Board on Friday said he would not travel with the rest of the players when they leave on October 28.
No final decision on his involvement has been made, but if he does play the powerful allrounder faces a hostile reception.
"You can only imagine," Starc told Fairfax on what reception awaits Stokes.
"I guess I'd love if he was out here. I'd love for the Australian crowd to get stuck into him the way the Poms (English) get stuck into our blokes over there.
"Regardless of whether he's here or not, I think the atmosphere is going to be great at all the grounds.
"I'm really looking forward to that atmosphere and if Ben is playing I'm sure it's going to be hyped up and really loud. But I'm sure Ben knows how to cope with that sort of stuff if he does play."
Stokes' absence would be a huge blow for England, who have lost two out of their past three tours Down Under 5-0 and are desperate to hit the ground running in the first Test in Brisbane on November 23.
Starc has been subjected to taunting from beyond the boundary in England in the past, while other Australian players have also been the butt of English sledging.
He is encouraging crowds in Australia to give the tourists a hostile welcome with or without Stokes, believing it can make a material difference to the performance of some players.
"Why not? Go for it. The Aussie boys will be backing you all the way in," Starc said.
"On certain people I think it can (affect their performance).
"For certain guys, if they're copping it in the crowd they enjoy the banter, they give it back and really enjoy that atmosphere and that banter both ways with the crowd.
"Other guys will go into their shell and it might affect their cricket."
2017-18 International Fixtures:
Magellan Ashes Series
First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets
Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets
Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets
Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets
Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets
ODI Series v England
First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets
Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets
T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets
Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets
Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets
Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 13
Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21