Following an ugly incident in Bristol, England’s Test vice-captain Ben Stokes and opening batsman Alex Hales have been suspended by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) from international cricket. Their comeback will depend on the outcome of the police investigation.
On Monday, early in the day, Bristol Police interrogated Stokes and Hales regarding the incident. This brings Stokes’ Ashes selection for upcoming Ashes in Australia in danger and the England team has to depart end of next month.
As reported by Guardian, Stokes, was arrested at 2.35 am in the Clifton area of the city on Monday on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm – a 27-year-old man was left needing treatment for a facial injury in Bristol Royal Infirmary – and he was released later that day under investigation. Stokes is now due to be re-interviewed under caution by Avon and Somerset police in the next week.
Moreover, Hales was present when the incident took place but was not arrested and is also due for questioning by the detectives. The two teammates had been out drinking after England’s 124-run win in their third One-Day International against West Indies in the city on the Sunday.
The news of this ugly brawl came on Tuesday — the same day selectors picked England’s squad for Ashes, which included Stokes as well.
In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon, the ECB announced both players will now be unavailable for international selection until further notice on full pay, with Andrew Strauss, England’s team director and a former Test captain himself, referring their internal case to the sport’s Cricket Discipline Commission.
It read: “Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be considered for selection for England international matches until further notice. Each remains on full pay pending further ECB investigation and the ongoing police investigation into an incident in Bristol in the early hours of Monday 25 September.”