England have no chance to retain Ashes without Stokes - Ian Chappell

Ben Stokes was England's standout player when they toured Australia last
Ben Stokes was England's standout player when they toured Australia last

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell believes England will struggle in the upcoming Ashes series down under without a full-fit Ben Stokes.

The Durham all-rounder has found himself in a middle of another controversy as he was arrested in the early morning of last Monday following an altercation in Bristol.

Stokes along with his team-mate Alex Hales were suspended by the England and Wales Board as the police investigation was underway and the duo were forced to miss the final two games of the series against West Indies.

The England board have clamped down on player behaviour following the incident but it might already prove costly for them as Stokes is nursing an injury concern which puts his participation in the all-important Ashes tour doubtful despite he was named in the squad.

"They can’t win without him (Stokes) for a number of reasons,” Chappell told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph on Thursday.

"Obviously his ability is the main thing, but also, he’s a match-winning player and those sort of players drag the rest along with them and make them better.

"He’s probably one of those players inspired by playing against the better teams and again that has a flow on effect to the fellas that don’t have that sort of confidence. I don’t think they’ve got a hope in hell without him."

Former Australian captain Allan Border too echoed Chappell sentiments and believes the series will lack intensity if England miss the services of Stokes.

"He is one of those cricketers you would go to watch play," Border said.

"He’s just got something about him, the aggressive nature of his cricket is exciting and it would be a real blow if he doesn’t come."

Stokes was one of the positives for England when they toured Australia last as he notched a century in the third Test in Perth and also picked a eight-wicket haul in the final Test in Sydney.

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