England’s build up to this winter’s Ashes series looks as though it will be dogged by turmoil. Ben Stokes is at the centre of it, having been caught up in a few unsavoury incidents of late. The ECB have stated that Stokes will not travel to Australia “at this stage”, meaning England are missing a huge influence on and off the pitch.
Confidence and mood around the English cricket team is low, and that’s reflected in the betting patterns. This week, 65% of bets on the series correct score market have been on a repeat of the 2013-14 5-0 whitewash in Australia’s favour. The best price on this is currently 9/1.
Stokes’ potential replacement, Steven Finn, isn’t too inspiring either. Finn was sent home from the 2013-14 Ashes tour without a single appearance, so won’t have fond memories down under. If you fancy Finn to make a mends this time, you can get 12/1 on him to be England’s top bowler.
Or, should the ECB fly Stokes out to Australia, you can back him to make a statement and be England’s top batsman at a best price of 12/1.
Punters seem certain of Australia regaining the Ashes though, with 80% of series winner bets placed on Steve Smith & co. - this despite the short price of 4/7. England can be backed at a best price of 3/1 to win the series for the fifth time in seven. Joe Root’s side were as short as 11/8 back in the summer…
Oddschecker spokesman, George Elek: "There is little positivity around English cricket at the moment, despite a successful summer on the pitch. The uncertainty around Ben Stokes, and the lack of viable alternatives for the all-rounder, has seen many ditch their patriotism in favour of the odds-on Aussies."