Stokes was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm after an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September. He has still been awarded a central contract, while pace bowler Steven Finn has been added to the tour party. Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball and Liam Plunkett have each been given written warnings for their conduct. The trio was part of the night out in Bristol, but the reprimands are not connected to the Stokes incident, for which batsman Alex Hales volunteered to help police with their investigation. All-rounder Stokes was arrested on a night out that followed England's victory over West Indies in the third one-day international. Stokes and Hales were left out of the fourth ODI, but the 26-year-old was still named in the original Ashes squad. After the touring party was named, the Sun newspaper published footage that allegedly showed Stokes involved in a street brawl.

The ECB then said that Stokes, who suffered a broken hand, and Hales would not be available to play for England until further notice, a stance it reiterated on Friday.

England leaves for the five-Test series on 28 October.

England director of cricket Andrew Strauss said: "We have spoken to Ben and assured him that our decision in no way prejudges the outcome of the ongoing police investigation or cricket discipline commission process, as can be seen by the award of central contracts."

Source: BBC Sports

06 October, 2017 21:49 pm