Hussain warns Stokes to 'grow up' and stop 'flirting with the self-destruct button'
Nasser Hussain has warned Ben Stokes he could deny himself the opportunity to become an England great if he keeps "flirting with the self-destruct button" following his arrest this week.
The all-rounder was held overnight by police on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm, and subsequently released without charge, following an incident in Bristol in the early hours of Monday morning.
Stokes was named in a 16-man squad for the Ashes on Wednesday despite suffering a fracture to his right hand and will remain Test vice-captain "pending disciplinary procedures".
Joe Root's deputy has a history of off-field incidents and former England captain Hussain said he must learn to stay out of trouble.
"Ben Stokes has the world at his feet and is well on the way to becoming a very special - not to mention very well rewarded - cricketer. But he cannot keep flirting with the self-destruct button while getting himself into such damaging scrapes." Hussain wrote in his Daily Mail column.
"Just as things always seem to happen to Stokes on the field the same is true, sadly, off it and it has reached the point where it could damage the career of a potentially great England cricketer.
He added: "Above all, Ben Stokes has to grow up. The bottom line is, for all the advice and support he will be receiving right now, it's down to him. He just has far too much going for him to throw it all away."
Michael Vaughan was another England skipper to issue a warning to Stokes.
"Ben Stokes can't say he was not warned. I have been privy to private conversations about him recently and he has been given strong warnings about his lifestyle." Vaughan said in his Daily Telegraph column.
"People have said to him there is only one person who can ruin your career and that is you. Nobody else. He has the talent, plays all three formats relatively easily. Has the world at his feet.
"In time we could be describing him as a cricketing genius. But he has to understand that if he wants to be a superstar, and go over to India and earn huge IPL contracts, and keep them, he has to be careful off the field.
"I am not saying be teetotal or not have a flutter at the casino. He needs a way to let off steam and live a life. But on the field he is a streetwise cricketer. He understands the game. He gets cricket. But he is not streetwise off the pitch and that could be his downfall."