'Steve Smith Can Get 700 Runs in Ashes' - Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes has revolutionised England's Test team (Twitter)
England demolished Ireland in the one-off Test at the Lord's as a precursor for the upcoming 'The Ashes 2023', which starts June 16 at Edgbaston. Australia, prior to the first Ashes Test, will play in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final against India at The Oval on June 7, and look to gain much-needed match-time.
Ahead of the tour, several Australian players — including Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, and Marcus Harris — featured in County Championship 2023-24 to acclimatise themselves for the past two months.
England's Test captain Ben Stokes in an interview with Nasser Hussain for Daily Mail explained how Australian participation in County cricket is welcomed, and that these things won't reflect on the result of the Ashes series.
Here's what Stokes said
"I've got absolutely no issue with it whatsoever. Marcus North (Durham director of cricket) messaged me and said: ‘Is it OK if we sign an Australian?’ and I said, ‘Mate, it’s absolutely fine. Don’t worry.’ It’s great for our game if you get international players coming over. Why would you not want superstar players representing our counties? When it comes to the Ashes I don’t think it will make any difference."
"Steve Smith could have got four ducks in a row for Sussex but we all know he could still then get 700 runs in the Ashes."
England will be without lead spinner Jack Leach, who has been ruled out of the Ashes due to an unfortunate injury. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are yet to name a replacement.