That’s a fine mess you’ve got us into!
Brawling Stokes set to miss Ashes Tour
BEN STOKES looks certain to miss this winter’s Ashes tour of Australia after the Test vice-captain and Alex Hales were suspended indefinitely by the England & Wales Cricket Board.
Both players were stood down until further notice pending the results of the ECB’s own disciplinary inquiry into the latenight brawl in Bristol last Monday morning that resulted in Stokes being arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.
Stokes was released under police investigation, but the emergence of a video of the incident has left the ECB in a state of shock. The case has now been referred to the board’s Cricket Disciplinary Commission and the indication is that neither Stokes nor Hales will be cleared to play again until the outcome of that inquiry, which has no set timeframe and ECB sources have told The Cricket Paper will go on for “the foreseeable future”.
An ECB statement released yesterday said: “Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be considered for selection for England international matches until further notice. Each remains on full pay pending further ECB investigation and the ongoing police investigation into an incident in Bristol in the early hours of Monday September 25.”
It is understood Stokes, 26, is set to be re-interviewed by police in the coming days and the development of any criminal case would put a further roadblock on his recall to the side. Indeed, this appears the first step by a shellshocked ECB to ban Stokes from the Ashes tour and strip him of the vice-captaincy.
England coach Trevor Bayliss, who was caught up in a terrorist attack in Lahore when coach of Sri Lanka in 2009, admitted it was one of the most difficult things he has had to deal with. “It’s probably in the top two,” he said. “It’s very difficult for everyone involved.”