Stokes not travelling with English team
The involvement of Ben Stokes in the Ashes series has been thrown further into doubt after it was revealed the leading all-rounder will not travel with the rest of the England squad to Australia.
Stokes has said he will offer a full explanation of what happened in Bristol last month which could cost him his Ashes place ‘‘when the time is right’’.
The 26-year-old all-rounder was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm following a disturbance outside a nightclub in the city on September 25 that was captured on CCTV.
He will not travel until he learns whether or not he will face criminal charges.
He has not been ruled out of the five-test series which starts on November 23, but the England and Wales Cricket Board will not consider him for selection until further notice as it awaits developments in the ongoing investigation.
Stokes’ agent Neil Fairbrother said the Durham player would discuss his version of events in due course but he did not wish to prejudice the investigation.
‘‘Ben explained to me the full circumstances of what happened in Bristol and I told him that he has my total support and backing,’’ Fairbrother said in a statement.
‘‘I am aware that he has fully cooperated with the police inquiry and voluntarily provided a detailed statement on the same day as the incident. He will continue to assist the police in any way he can.
‘‘Ben will also make public his full explanation and evidence when the time is right. On legal advice, that is not possible whilst the investigation continues and no charges have been brought forward. Ben does not wish to prejudice the process.
‘‘He is also concerned about the impact the widespread publicity has on everyone involved including the ECB, his teammates and the game of cricket itself which he loves.
‘‘We will not be making any further comment relating to this at this time.’’