Steven Smith praises Stokes' ability but slams his off-field behaviour

Steven Smith (centre) criticised Ben Stokes for the recent incident in Bristol.
Steven Smith (centre) criticised Ben Stokes for the recent incident in Bristol.

Australian skipper Steven Smith condemned the off-field behaviour of England all-rounder Ben Stokes that led to his arrest following an incident in Bristol.

The Durham all-rounder along with opening batsman Alex Hales was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket board as they were under a police investigation for a public altercation outside a nightclub last month.

Even though Stokes was named in the Ashes squad and also retained his vice-captain post, there is a cloud on his participation with the investigation in process and also the 26-year-old nursing an injury.

Smith had high praises for Stokes' all-round ability but insisted he does not condone such activities from professional cricketers.

"Whether he comes or not, that’s out of our control,” Smith told ABC Grandstand in his first public comments on Stokes’ situation.

"You always want to come up against the best and test your skills against the best. That’s what test cricket is all about.

"There’s no doubt Ben Stokes is one of the best players around the world at the moment with the skills he brings to the game.

"I certainly don’t condone that kind of behaviour.

"Hopefully it never happens to one of our boys. I don’t condone that type of behaviour. Let’s hope we never cross paths with that."

The five-match Test series between England and Australia will be played between 23rd November and 8th January and will also include a day-night encounter for the first time in the tournament history.

© Cricket World 2017