Ben Stokes has kept a low profile ever since being arrested in September on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and suspended, along with Alex Hales, from international cricket until further notice following an apparent fight outside a nightclub. However, Stokes broke his silence on Monday as he lashed out at Australia's batting legend Matthew Hayden after he described England as a "rabble" and claimed he did not who "half" the team was. The English all-rounder took to Twitter and launched a scathing attack on Hayden for his comments.
Speaking on Brisbane Heat's podcast, Hayden said,"The Poms are a rabble. I look down their list of players and I honestly don't even know who half of these guys are.'
"What they have got is some extremely experienced fast bowlers in Broad and Anderson. You have two particularly good batsmen as well in Cook and Joe Root,' he added.
"Apart from that - you throw a blanket over those four - who are they?"
Responding to Hayden's comments, Stokes tweeted,"Hayden says he doesn't know who half our squad is....only 2 from the squad haven't played at International level.....he's a cricket pundit yeah??"
Hayden says he doesn't know who half our squad is....only 2 from the squad haven't played at International level.....he's a cricket pundit yeah?? https://t.co/5UVT0jRQMY— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) November 20, 2017
The first Ashes Test starts on Thursday at The Gabba in Brisbane. Stokes is not part of the England squad for this Ashes series following his arrest in Bristol on September 25.
The powerful all-rounder was released without charge but remains under investigation.
The absence of Stokes from the tour of Australia would be a huge blow for Ashes holders England, who have lost two out of their past three tours Down Under 5-0 and are desperate to hit the ground running in Brisbane on November 23.
England enjoyed a good summer at home, with Test series wins against South Africa and the West Indies, but there are doubts about a number of positions at the top of the batting order.