Candice Warner’s sledge for ‘disgusting’ Stokes
AUSTRALIA'S sledger-in-chief David Warner has already likened the Ashes to war and vowed to get under the skin of Joe Root - the man he once punched in a bar.
Now The Sun reports his wife Candice has joined in the verbals with an attack on Ben Stokes the superstar all-rounder whose involvement in a late-night brawl is currently being investigated by UK police.
It came on England's first full day in Australia - which most players spent relaxing on the golf course and trying to get over their jet lag.
Mrs Warner said: "I know the Australian players would love to have Stokes out here because they want to play against the best, but I don't think he can come, I really don't.
"That footage is disgusting, it is really, really bad."
Warner loves nothing more than ramping up the rhetoric and has said he wants to feel "hatred" towards his Ashes opponents.
Next came a personal message for Root when he insisted: "We'll be testing him as much as we can. When he's batting, we'll try to get under his skin in the field."
Captain Root dismissed Warner's war analogy as "extreme" but he is no shrinking violet himself when it comes to words.
He added: "I'm looking forward to it. I'm sure there'll be plenty of banter flying around on and off the field. It's something you have to relish and be able at the end of your career to look back and say, 'I gave it my best shot and I enjoyed it'.
"There's always an edge of psychological banter in Ashes cricket. Once you've played in a few, you know what to expect."
He connected with a glancing blow.
There was no police involvement in the incident.
Mrs Warner added: "David wasn't charged when he hit Joe Root - he was banned for two games. Why wouldn't Ben Stokes get reprimanded? This is a lot worse, this is way worse."
"I don't know the ins and outs of it I just hope at some point he can get out here," said No. 3 batsman James Vince.
"Of course (we want him here). He's one of the best players in the side. If we get him then great but if we don't then hopefully we've got a side that can cope with the Aussies.
Vince is part of a hugely inexperienced England top order, which has been left even more exposed by Stokes' alleged actions.
The right-hander is back after more than 12 months on the outer, despite averaging 19 from his first seven Tests, with no 50s.
Vince admits he was shocked to be selected, but said he is viewing the Ashes as an opportunity rather than a daunting experience.
"Initially I didn't expect to get the call but after I did and I had a bit of time for it to settle in I was very excited to be coming here," he said.
"It's a great opportunity for me to establish myself in the team and kickstart my Test career.
"It's probably a step up playing away in Australia but I guess I've got a bit more of an idea of what to expect."