New Delhi: Ian Chappell, former Australian captain and cricket commentator, has predicted that without their talisman all-rounder Ben Stokes, England will be forced to surrender the Ashes urn in Australia.
England are the current holders of the urn but will be travelling Down Under later this year. Stokes meanwhile is in the middle of a controversy over a brawl and his selection in the Ashes team has come under a cloud despite him being named in the squad.
Stokes, vice-captain of the current test side, was named in England`s 16-man squad for the Ashes tour starting in November but was suspended on Thursday until further investigation into the incident.
"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." (With Reuters inputs)