The inclusion of Ben Stokes has been put on hold by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) until police investigation has been concluded. The star all-rounder was arrested for allegedly causing body harm outside a night club in Bristol.
Speaking to BBC as quoted by cricket.com.au., Richards said "I'm a fan of Ben Stokes". "England do need that all-rounder with a little bit of heart, also stomach into the game as well, solid physically, and I think you're going to need all this stuff Down Under.
"The Aussies, in my opinion, they bring it.Having someone like Stokes, who's pretty strong in himself about how he feels, the confidence he brings, is going to be crucial Down Under. Without Ben Stokes Down Under, the English team is going to look like kittens."
Stokes was one of the best performers during England’s 2013-14 Ashes loss. The left hander scored 279 runs at an average of 34.87 and had taken 15 wickets.
According to reports in ESPNcricinfo, ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said, "What happened was wrong, there's no question about that.
"You don't want to see your sport in that position and there are consequences of that. We're in a holding pattern at the minute. There's a process with the police and then a disciplinary process. As you'll appreciate, these things take time and that's the pattern we're in at the moment." There are further reports that an internal ECB disciplinary process is also underway.
The Joe Root-led side are already without the services of Stokes’ replacement Steve Finn who has returned home with knee injury, while Jake Ball sent a new injury scare spraining his right ankle in their tour match at Adelaide Oval....