Stokes and Hales free to play for Eng­land

Sunderland Echo - - Sport -

coaches and sup­port staff for the con­se­quences of my ac­tions in Bris­tol, he said in a state­ment.

“I re­gret the in­ci­dent ever hap­pened and I apol­o­gise to Eng­land sup­port­ers and to the pub­lic for bring­ing the game into dis­re­pute.

“Cricket and fam­ily are my life. This in­ci­dent has been a huge bur­den for the last 15 months. I am re­lieved to get back to play­ing the game that I love with­out this hang­ing over me.

“Although the dis­ci­plinary process is now over, I have learned lessons that will stay with me for much longer.”

Stokes was ar­rested in the early hours of Septem­ber 25 last year, mid­way through Eng­land’s one­day in­ter­na­tional series with the West In­dies, and then charged with af­fray in Jan­uary.

Hales was with Stokes at the time of the in­ci­dent in Bris­tol, in which a 27-year-old man suf­fered a frac­tured eye socket.

Both men were charged with two counts of bring­ing the game into dis­re­pute.

As well as the night­club in­ci­dent, Stokes an­swered a charge in re­la­tion to an “in­ap­pro­pri­ate video” on so­cial me­dia, while Hales was charged in re­la­tion to “in­ap­pro­pri­ate im­ages”.

“There is no doubt I fell be­low the high stan­dards ex­pected of an in­ter­na­tional sportsman and that was the rea­son for my de­ci­sion to ad­mit the charges and ac­cept the pun­ish­ment handed down,” Hales posted on Twit­ter.

“I sin­cerely apol­o­gise for putting my­self in a po­si­tion which al­lowed th­ese very re­gret­table in­ci­dents to hap­pen.”

The pair missed the fi­nal two ODIs against the Windies, with Stokes also ab­sent for last win­ter’s tour of Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing the Ashes, due to the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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