Steve Finn to re­place Stokes for Ashes

The Sunday Guardian - - Sports -

LONDON: Con­tro­ver­sial all-rounder Ben Stokes has been with­drawn from Eng­land’s Ashes squad, pend­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his al­leged street brawl in Bris­tol last month, with pacer Steven Finn step­ping into the squad for the full fiveTest se­ries, start­ing from Novem­ber 23.

“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,” Direc­tor of Eng­land Cricket, An­drew Strauss said in a state- ment.

“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.

Stokes was how­ever, re­tained in the list of Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) 2017-18 cen­tral con­tracts and could make the squad if no fur­ther po­lice ac­tion is taken.

“We have spo­ken to Ben and as­sured him that our de­ci­sion in no way pre­judges the out­come of the on­go­ing Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion or Crick- et Dis­ci­pline Com­mis­sion process, as can be seen by the award of cen­tral con­tracts,” Strauss said.

Eng­land bats­man Alex Hales, who was also a part of the brawl with Stokes, has also been re­tained in the list of con­tracted play­ers for the lim­ited overs for­mats.

A state­ment from the ECB con­firmed that three other play­ers who were out drink­ing with Stokes and Hales dur­ing the re­cent ODI se­ries againts the West Indies, on Septem­ber 25 -- namely Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball and Liam Plun­kett -- have ac­cepted a for­mal writ­ten warn­ing and a fine for un­pro­fes­sional con­duct.

Com­ment­ing on the se­lec­tion of Finn in the Ashes squad, Strauss said: “Steven is a high-qual­ity crick­eter, with con­sid­er­able ex­pe­ri­ence of both in­ter­na­tional cricket and Aus­tralian con- di­tions. The Se­lec­tors be­lieve he will add to the range of op­tions and the squad will be fur­ther sup­ported by the ar­rival of the Lions in Aus­tralia in Novem­ber.”

Mean­while, Ben Stokes, who was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of caus­ing ac­tual bod­ily harm has been filmed mim­ick­ing Katie Price’s dis­abled son Har­vey in a Snapchat video.

The Eng­land crick­eter is shown im­i­tat­ing Har­vey’s ap­pear­ance on the ITV day­time tele­vi­sion show Loose Women, af­ter the 15-year-old used the word ‘c***’ .

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