It’s a major blow for the England selectors as Stokes’ entire international career lies in the balance following his altercation outside a nightclub during the West Indies ODI series.
That, of course, is great news for Australia who will have been worried about facing the Durham man from the off. But who will replace the England vice-captain as the Ashes series draws ever closer?
Plenty of pundits have had their say. Will they play an extra bowler or strengthen the batting? Can they find a ready made replacement?
We take a look at the candidates who could get the nod…
The 2017/18 Ashes Series has well and truly fallen in the Baggy Green’s favour and is well worth putting some free bets Australia ‘s way with the news that Steven Finn was called up in place of Stokes.
The Middlesex paceman is a fine cricketer, and his bowling will no doubt fill a void, but realistically it’ll leave the Three Lions much weaker down the batting order.
It’ll mean there will be even more of a reliance on captain Joe Root and Moeen Ali. Have a plan against them and it could be a major factor in the series.
Alec Stewart is backing Jason Roy to replace Stokes in the first eleven should Stokes not make it to Australia.
With the bat he’s one of the most destructive in the country and replaced Alex Hales opening the batting following his suspension in relation to the Stokes incident.
It will mean added pressure falls onto the likes of Stuart Broad and James Anderson, but there really aren’t any all-rounders in the same bracket as Stokes in world cricket, never mind English county cricket.
England do however have Chris Woakes, recently back from injury. While not of the same calibre as Stokes, he can be useful with bat and ball and would provide a straight swap in both the test and one day series’.
He’s a useful player to have in the middle order and has improved his pace over the last few years with the ball.
It’ll be a huge step up for the 28-year-old but his average is around 30 with both bat and ball so he can do a job.
Whoever they decide upon as plan B however, the Australian team’s confidence will be high following the incident which has rocked English cricket.