Former England cricket player Andrew Flintoff.

Freddie Flintoff struggles to explain Ben Stokes' Ashes exclusion to his kids

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Andrew Flintoff is finding it difficult to explain to his kids why Ben Stokes has been axed from the England national team, something that has caused a great deal of anguish for the former Three Lions captain. 

Ben Stokes was scrutinised for taking part in a brawl outside a night club in Bristol last month with the scene being caught on camera. 

The 26-year-old is likely to miss the Ashes tour of Australia unless he is cleared by the Avon and Somerset police. 

He awaits the decision about whether criminal charges will be imposed, but has been assured that he won't be on the plane departing on Oct 28 for the tournament.

Flintoff has expressed his struggle to reveal the news to his young sons that their "idol" will not be taking part in the latest edition of the historic Ashes series. 

He said: "I just hope it's not the end of him. We've got to give him a chance to redeem himself. He will be desperate to do that and I hope we give him that opportunity.

“I'm a massive Ben Stokes fan, and the hardest part for me has been explaining it to my kids because they idolise him.

“They keep asking me, 'Dad, what has Ben Stokes done?' How do I convey that to my kids?”

The 39-year-old said that Stokes should not have been outside a night club at 2:30am without any security around him and without the knowledge of England management. 

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Flintoff commented on his BBC radio podcast: "Surely it's a case of innocent until proven guilty, but the line is pretty simple – there are laws of the land.

“As a sportsman and someone in the public eye, especially when you are a bit young, maybe you think they don't apply to you as much.

“I can understand [England director of cricket] Andrew Strauss and the ECB can't just let it slide. But I don't understand how he [Stokes] is in this position at 2.30am with Alex Hales.

“Ben has had a lot of time to think about it. When things are going well, everyone wants to be your mate – all of a sudden he's in a bit of a pickle and he needs looking after.

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“I was always no good at asking for help: It always got to a point where I needed intervention, and I think Ben is at the same point now.

“In some ways I hope this will be the making of him – not as a cricketer, because we already know how good he is – but as a person.”

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