Cricket – Bayliss urges players to fill Stokes void

England's players must "step up" and help fill the potential void of key man Ben Stokes in the upcoming Ashes Series, according to head coach Trevor Bayliss. The 26-year-old all-rounder and vice-captain was expected to be an influential member of the team as they look to retain the Ashes urn in the five-match Test series in Australia this winter. However, Stokes' off-the-field antics meant he failed to travel Down Under with the rest of the England squad and it is looking doubtful that he will be involved at least for the first Test, which gets under way in Brisbane on 23rd November and the tourists are 9/4 to win with bet365. Bayliss accepts that the loss of Stokes would be a big blow, but feels it gives other players an opportunity to shine. "We are losing one of the leaders of the team in everything. Batting, bowling, obviously in the field, his contribution to the team off the field, and he is a leader out on the ground as well. Someone else is going to have to step up."

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