'Get stuck into' Ben Stokes, Mitchell Starc tells Australia fans
Last Updated: 15/10/17 5:51pm
Fast bowler Mitchell Starc has called on Australian fans to "get stuck into" England's Ben Stokes if he makes the trip for the Ashes series.
Stokes was arrested last month on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm, and is suspended from England selection until further notice with a police investigation ongoing.
The 26-year-old, who was released without charge, has been included in the Ashes squad but will not travel with the rest of the squad to Australia on October 28.
The ECB announced they have still not yet made a final decision on his involvement in the upcoming series.
Aussie bowler Starc said: "I guess I'd love if he was out here. I'd love for the Australian crowd to get stuck into him the way the Poms (English) get stuck into our blokes over there.
"Regardless of whether he's here or not, I think the atmosphere is going to be great at all the grounds.
"I'm really looking forward to that atmosphere and if Ben is playing I'm sure it's going to be hyped up and really loud. But I'm sure Ben knows how to cope with that sort of stuff if he does play."
Stokes' absence would be a huge blow for England, who have lost two out of their past three tours Down Under 5-0 and are desperate to hit the ground running in the first Test in Brisbane on November 23.
Starc is encouraging crowds in Australia to give the tourists a hostile welcome with or without Stokes, believing it can make a big difference.
"Why not? Go for it. The Aussie boys will be backing you all the way in," he added.
"On certain people I think it can (affect their performance).
"For certain guys, if they're copping it in the crowd they enjoy the banter, they give it back and really enjoy that atmosphere and that banter both ways with the crowd.
"Other guys will go into their shell and it might affect their cricket."