Australian cricket commentator Mel Jones has slammed the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for not ruling out star England all-rounder Ben Stokes from potentially making an Ashes appearance.
The 26-year-old remains under police investigation over an alleged assault outside a Bristol night club, and while he remains indefinitely suspended from national selection, he has received a no objection certificate to play for New Zealand side Canterbury, making scores of 2 and 34 in his two games.
This has fuelled speculation he could make a quick dash to Australia to play if cleared by the English authorities. “I think it’s disappointing that the ECB haven’t put a line through him,” Jones told SEN Breakfast.
“We don’t want to see it (violence) in general society, we certainly shouldn’t be seeing it from our role models and superstars.
“They should just say, ‘nup, you’re not coming to these Ashes’, and make a point, make a stand saying we’re not happy with this behaviour.”
Even if Stokes makes a dramatic return for the Perth Test, Jones sees no way back for the visitors in the series, particularly with Australia’s well balanced bowling attack dominating proceedings.
“When you go into a Test series and you just pick the four frontline bowlers, we’ve always been speaking about that number six position being the all-rounder to help them out, but the confidence the team’s got in those players…it’s pretty formidable isn’t it?” she said.
“England’s plan of attack was to wear them down, and once they wore them down they would start to accumulate runs, but they just keep coming at you at you.
“The pick of them is Nathan Lyon. I think he’s just stepped up yet again on the big stage.
“Everyone’s been speaking about the pace attack, but it’s really been the GOAT that’s done so very well.”
The Third Test starts in Perth next Thursday.
To hear the entire chat with Mel Jones click on the player below