Stokes not trav­el­ling with English team

The Southland Times - - SPORT - CRICKET

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.’’

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