27 Sep 2017

Don't bother turning up for Ashes without Stokes - Pietersen

11:39 am on 27 September 2017

Stokes has been dropped for the side's one-day international against the West Indies after being arrested outside a nightclub in Bristol for allegedly being involved in a brawl.

The England all-rounder Ben Stokes plays a shot.

The England all-rounder Ben Stokes plays a shot. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

But the vice-captain is likely to keep his spot for this summer's Test series after England's cricket director Andrew Strauss insisted the squad will be named "based on form and fitness".

It would be a massive blow to their Ashes chances should England choose to impose a lengthy suspension on Stokes, who was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm.

He hit a swashbuckling century during his debut Test series in Australia and has taken 26 Ashes wickets at 33.07 with his medium pace.

"If Stokes doesn't go to Aus, then England should just stay at home!," former England batting star Pietersen tweeted.

Former England international cricketer Kevin Pietersen.

Former England international cricketer Kevin Pietersen. Photo: Photosport

Former England captain Michael Vaughan backed Stokes to travel to Australia and keep the vice-captaincy.

But Vaughan criticised him for threatening the team's preparation for the five- Test series, starting in Brisbane on November 23.

"The facts are the England vice-captain was out at 2.30am, drinking two days before an England game and he has hit someone," Vaughan wrote in the UK Telegraph.

"What this has done is cast a massive shadow over the England team at the worst time ... he could be charged.

"In Australia, he will be goaded from the moment he arrives."

Retired Australian batsman Michael Slater agreed a suspension for Stokes would be a huge blow.

"I certainly hope he's playing for England because I think he'll play well out here," Slater told Sky Sports Radio.

"I'd like to see him do a job for England just because it'll be competitive.

"He's a proper allrounder. He means a lot to England."

It's not the first time Stokes has been in trouble, having been arrested during a night out in 2011 and being sent home from a 2013 England Lions tour due to late-night drinking.

A year later, England lost him for the World T20 after he punched a dressing- room locker and broke his hand.

The England Cricket Board said Stokes was detained by police earlier this week but was released without charge.

Alex Hales, who was with Stokes at the time of his arrest, returned to Bristol to help police with the investigation.