Absent Stokes wishes England well

Ben Stokes has wished his England team-mates well for the first Ashes Test on the opening day of the series with Australia in Brisbane.

Stokes is the notable omission from England's line-up for the match at the Gabba on Thursday after he remained at home despite being named in the initial touring party.

The all-rounder did not travel with Joe Root's side after being suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board until the conclusion of a police investigation following Stokes' arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm in Bristol in September.

Stokes' participation has been the hot topic of conversation in the build-up to the opening match, but it remains unclear whether he will fly to Australia later in the series.

For now he remains in England, and the 26-year-old took to social media to post his good luck wishes, while stating he will be watching all the action from home.

"With the Ashes starting very soon I just wanted to get a message out to all the boys in Australia," he said in a Twitter video.

"I wish them all the best for the first Test match and all the coaches and backroom staff as well. 

"I know how much preparation has gone into making sure everyone is right and ready to go, and by the looks of it everyone is. 

"Just wanted to wish all the fans who have made the long travels all the best as well, I hope we can give you a good result in the first Test match.

"I'll be sat at home watching, following the lads and hoping they do really well."

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