Sport Cricket The Ashes: English star Ben Stokes goads Aussie legend on Twitter
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The Ashes: English star Ben Stokes goads Aussie legend on Twitter

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes' wife has dismissed a report of a physical altercation between the couple at the Professional Cricketers' Association awards. Photo: AAP
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England all-rounder Ben Stokes – temporarily stood down due to his alleged involvement in a street brawl – has questioned Matthew Hayden’s ability as a “cricket pundit”, capping a day full of Ashes sledging and a David Warner injury scare.

While a “quite sore” neck forced Warner from Australia training after he hurt himself in a fielding drill on Tuesday morning, he put fans at ease in a press conference in which he said: “I don’t think a sore neck is going to keep me out.”

Before Warner’s comments, speculation ran hot that the 31-year-old may miss the Ashes opener, which starts at the ‘Gabba on Thursday.

The left-handed opener faced just two throw-downs in the nets before aborting a planned batting session, and receiving treatment from Australia’s medical staff.

Earlier, Stokes threw fuel on the Ashes sledging fire when he took to Twitter to criticise Hayden.

The star Englishman, who is expecting a decision on his Ashes involvement in the coming days, has been very quiet on social media in recent weeks.

But he couldn’t resist on Twitter after reading a Fox Sports article in which Hayden was quoted saying “the Poms are a rabble”.

“I look down half of the list and I honestly don’t even know who half of these guys are.”

Stokes hit back, posting: “Hayden says he doesn’t know who half our squad is.

“Only two from the squad haven’t played at international level … he’s a cricket pundit yeah??”

Former Aussie paceman Stuart Clark questioned Stokes’ thought process.

“He has lit the fuse,” Clark told Fox Sports News.

“I’d suggest that Ben has got bigger issues than fighting former players on Twitter.”

David Warner Ashes
Warner gets treatment from medical staff. Photo: Getty

Aussie off-spinner Nathan Lyon did not hold back in a press conference, sending the English media into meltdown with a sledge-filled rant about the 2013 series, which Australia won 5-0.

“Watching Mitchell Johnson going round scaring all the Poms was unbelievable,” Lyon said.

“I was at leg slip and I had to push a couple of [English] guys back into the stumps. So it was good fun.

“Could we end some careers [this time]? I hope so … there’s a lot of scars for the English guys, especially coming over here.”

Lyon also angered former England wicket-keeper Matt Prior by saying he was “scared” of the Australians in that series – so much so he wanted to leave the country.

“Leading into Perth … we knew Matt Prior wanted to fly home before the game started and he was one of the senior players,” he said.

“He was scared. It’s four years ago. I think he’s alright now.”

Prior rubbished the claims, though, and responded by saying: “If that was the case and I was scared, why didn’t I go home then?

“That’s completely ridiculous and all I can do is laugh. It’s wholeheartedly untrue.

“I stayed out there, and what hurt me more was that I got dropped for the last two Tests.”

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