The England Cricket Board has announced a 16-man squad for the Ashes that is schduled to being in Australia on November 27. Ben Stokes has been secured a place in the squad as well, despite being arrested for a tussle on Monday and being ruled out of 4th ODI against West Indies.
Surrey wicketkeeper Ben Foakes has made it into the National team for the first time along with Somerset fast bowler Craig Overton. Hampshire top order batsman James Vince has also returned to the squad for the first time since August 2016. Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance has also managed to secure a spot after going through the inconvenience of a fractured finger in the second Test against South Africa in July.
“A tour of Australia is the ultimate test for our squad. We have provided Joe Root and Trevor Bayliss with a well-balanced squad with options in all areas. After a successful summer, having won the Test series against South Africa and West Indies, there is real competition for places and we have selected a squad that will work hard and competes against Australia, aiming to win the Ashes,” said National Selector James Whitaker.
The 16-player Test squad consists of Joe Root, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, and Chris Woakes.
Ben Stokes' place in the squad had come under threat after he was arrested early morning on September 25 outside a nightclub in Bristol, for getting involved in a brawl and on suspicion of actual bodily harm. However, he was released later that day without any charges.
"Stokes was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning, 25 September, following an incident in Bristol. He was held overnight and released under investigation - without charge - late on Monday and will not join the team in London,” The England Cricket Board confirmed.
"Hales, who was with Stokes on Sunday night, did not train this morning and has returned voluntarily to Bristol today to help Police with their inquiries. You will understand that we cannot offer further detail at this stage but will provide any updates when we can."
Since Stokes is the current vice-captain of the Test team, this came as a major blow for him, just before the announcement of the England squad for the Ashes. Rumours were doing rounds that the ECB might suspend Stokes for a longer duration, as a consequence of this misconduct.
However, many players backed Stokes and wanted him to be in the squad, in spite of the earlier events. Kevin Pietersen tweeted that without Ben Stokes, England should not even travel to Australia.
OH NO!— KP (@KP24) September 26, 2017
Major Ashes scare!
If Stokes doesn't go to Aus, then England should just stay at home! https://t.co/chG7zrxhjo