Magellan Ashes 2017-18

England 'kittens' without Stokes: Viv

Cricket great Viv Richards says England will struggle Down Under without the heart and guts Ben Stokes brings to the team.

AAP & Cricket Network

09 November 2017, 10:07 AM

Cricket legend Viv Richards has labelled England "kittens" without Ben Stokes ahead of an expected decision on the vice-captains Magellan Ashes participation.

England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison reaffirmed on Tuesday they will decided Stokes' future after a police investigation has concluded.

The star allrounder is waiting to hear if he will be charged after being arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm following a late-night fracas in Bristol on September 25.

There's speculation of an announcement by UK police this week, just over two weeks from the start of the first Test in Brisbane.

West Indian batting great Richards said England needed Stokes in Australia, with the 26-year-old staying at home as he also rehabilitates a hand injury sustained in the brawl.

Cricket great Viv Richards says England needs someone like Ben Stokes Down Under // Getty
Viv Richards says England need someone like Ben Stokes Down Under // Getty

"I'm a fan of Ben Stokes," Richards told the BBC.

"England do need that allrounder with a little bit of heart, also stomach into the game as well, solid physically, and I think you're going to need all this stuff Down Under.

"The Aussies, in my opinion, they bring it.

"Having someone like Stokes, who's pretty strong in himself about how he feels, the confidence he brings, is going to be crucial Down Under.

"Without Ben Stokes Down Under, the English team is going to look like kittens."

Stokes was one of the stronger performers in England's losing 2013-14 Ashes side, making 279 runs at 34.87 and taking 15 wickets after being recalled to the national side for his Test debut in the second match.

Stokes gives England hope in 2013-14 Ashes

As well as the police investigation, the ECB will complete its own inquiry into Stokes' behaviour before deciding whether he can play any part in the Ashes series.

"What happened was wrong, there's no question about that," said Harrison on Tuesday.

"You don't want to see your sport in that position and there are consequences of that. We're in a holding pattern at the minute.

"There's a process with the police and then a disciplinary process. As you'll appreciate, these things take time and that's the pattern we're in at the moment."


Stokes and Alex Hales, who was also involved in the Bristol incident, have been suspended until further notice.

England coach Trevor Bayliss says he plans to be without Stokes for the entire Ashes series, while director of England cricket Andrew Strauss admitted on Monday his absence was a "blow".

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

Gillette 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

Gillette T20 INTL 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