Cricket

Shots fired: Ben Stokes was quick to criticise Matthew Hayden after his recent comments on the team.

Ben Stokes takes dig at Australia legend Matthew Hayden over strong criticism of England

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Thursday kicks off the start of England's first Ashes Test in Brisbane, and former England vice-captain Ben Stokes, despite his jibe, will take no part after his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

Despite his current suspension by the ECB, the 26-year-old showed that this would not affect him, as he posted a video on his Instagram story over the weekend of him bowling in the nets.

Hayden claimed in Brisbane Heat on Monday that: "The Poms are a rabble. I look down their list of players and I honestly don't even know who half these guys are." 

Stokes responded on Twitter claiming that: "Hayden says he doesn't even know who half our squad is... only 2 from the squad haven't played at international level... he's a cricket pundit yeah??"

While full of praise for England's four most senior players - Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, James Anderson, and Joe Root - Hayden offered a scathing attack at the tourists' chances of retaining that famous urn.

Hayden continued: "What they've got is some extremely experienced fast bowlers in Broad and Anderson. You have two particularly good batsman as well in Cook and Joe Root.

"Apart from that - You throw a blanket over those four - who are they?

"If I was captain I'd be saying to Mitch Starc that when those four [English] players are there, you are just there to break them.

"Whatever it takes, break them, especially at the Gabba. If any one of those guys go, England have got no hope. And I don't think they have any hope anyway."

Former captain Cook said the tourists accept that it is "unlikely" that Stokes will join the tour. 

"You can't always pin your hopes on one guy," said Cook.

With a busy schedule next month in Australia, England will have a hard test without their fastest ever Test double-centurion, but the man will always be there on Twitter to defend the players, right?

Ashes Schedule

First Test: November 23-27th (Brisbane)
Second Test: December 2-6th (Adelaide)
Third Test: December 14-18th (Perth)
Fourth Test: December 25-29th (Melbourne)
Fifth Test: January 3-7th (Sydney)

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Topics:
Australia cricket
The Ashes
Cricket
England cricket

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