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Suspended Stokes has to win back respect: Warner


By David Clough

David Warner believes Ben Stokes has "let a lot of people down" and will need to earn back the respect of his team-mates if he does eventually make it on to their Ashes tour.

Combative Australia opener Warner, who dismissed concerns a minor neck injury will keep him out of this week's first Test, has had his say on the absence of England's key all-rounder.

Stokes (right) remains at home waiting to hear if he will be charged after being arrested following a late-night fracas in Bristol eight weeks ago.

He is currently suspended from international selection and will face an England and Wales Cricket Board disciplinary hearing once Avon & Somerset Police have concluded their business.

Warner said: "It's disappointing for the England team and the country. He's let a lot of people down. I'd love for him to be here, I know what a competitor he is and a world-class player."

Asked if he thinks that should happen, Warner added: "It's obviously up to the English police first.

"But he knows he's made a mistake and it's about him getting that respect back from his (fellow) players and countrymen.

"If he does come out, we wish him well and hope he brings the fieriness to the cricket."

Warner has often been known for his provocative behaviour on the pitch - and although he has toned that down, he is not ruling out the occasional word or two.

"I've mellowed over the last couple of years," he said.

"(But) when you're in the heat of battle and things get a bit fiery, I will (still) be feisty."

In the more immediate term, he insists there is no question of him missing round one at the Gabba tomorrow just because he cricked his neck during catching practice.

Warner's movement still appeared restricted but he nonetheless allayed fears he could be struggling to play this week, despite having faced only three throw-downs in the nets before skipping the rest of practice.

"I don't think a sore neck is going to keep me out," he said. "I took a high ball and something just twinged. (It) is quite stiff. I'm getting a bit of physio treatment and hope it settles down over the next 24 or 48 hours."

Warner decided to stop batting because he was worried he would do more harm than good.

"It's quite sore," he added. "I haven't really had a stiff neck like this one. I couldn't align myself face-on with Hicky (batting coach Graeme Hick). There's no point because I can't angle myself and I'll get into bad habits."

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