19 Days Remaining

Saturday 7th
posted by Morning Star in Sport

Ben Stokes will not travel with the England squad to Australia when the Ashes tour party leaves on October 28.

The England and Wales Cricket Board have said the all-rounder is not being ruled out of the series but his departure is at least being delayed due to an ongoing police investigation.

The 26-year-old vice-captain was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub last month. He was released without charge but remains under investigation.

Stokes, who is also subject to internal disciplinary action, has had his central contract renewed by the ECB, however.

Meanwhile, the governing body has also announced that seamer Steven Finn has been added to the Ashes touring squad.

England team director Andrew Strauss said: “With the Ashes just around the corner, it’s important to give the players, the coaching staff and supporters some clarity around a complex situation.

“This decision will help us in the weeks ahead and give

every player and the whole England set-up the best chance to focus on the challenge ahead in Australia.”

The first Ashes Test begins in Brisbane on November 23.

Alex Hales, who like Stokes is not being considered for selection until further notice, has also had his limited-overs central contract renewed for 2017-18. The opening batsman has spoken to police about the alleged incident involving Stokes in Bristol.

In a separate disciplinary matter, the ECB has also fined and issued written warnings to Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball and Liam Plunkett following an investigation into behaviour during the recent one-day series against West Indies.

No further details have been given but the ECB has stated clearly that this issue is “unrelated to the investigations into Ben Stokes and Alex Hales” and the matter is now closed. The three players are to pay undisclosed sums to the PCA Benevolent Fund and the Hornsby Professional Cricketers’ Fund.