Ben Stokes ruled out for Oz.

The uncertainty surrounding the fate of suspended all-rounder Ben Stokes is hampering England’s preparations for the upcoming Ashes series in Australia, former skipper Andrew Strauss has said.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) suspended vice-captain Stokes pending an investigation into an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September for which he was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

However, it is claimed that Stokes was protecting a gay couple from abuse from a ‘mob’.