England and Wales Cricket Board have announced that Ben Stokes and Alex Hales would not be considered for selection for international matches until further notice. Currently, the duo, who were involved in the late night brawl outside a pub in Bristol, are under the police investigation.
Stokes was named in the 16-man Ashes squad on Wednesday despite injuring his hand in the incident that led to his arrest on suspicion of causing bodily harm. The England Test vice-captain was held by the local police overnight but released without charges the following day. However, on Thursday morning, The Sun published footage of the incident, recorded by a person from the roof of a building, which revealed that Stokes punched two men after one of them appeared to attack someone on Stokes’ side with a bottle.
“Each (Stokes and Hales) 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,” said an ECB statement, reported AFP.
“Andrew Strauss, Director of England Cricket, will today refer the internal disciplinary procedure for these two players to the Cricket Discipline Commission, chaired by Tim O’Gorman. These decisions, fully supported by ECB Chairman Colin Graves, were made following the release of footage viewed by ECB for the first time on Wednesday night.”
The incident took place after England’s win over the Windies in the third One-day on Sunday. Stokes and Hales were immediately axed from the fourth ODI and missed England’s series-clinching win over Windies at The Oval on Wednesday.
With the ECB now suspending the duo, they will miss the final ODI on Friday at Ageas Bowl in Southampton, with Sky Sports reporting that they would be re-interviewed by detectives from Avon and Somerset Police in the next few days.