Brawling Stokes hit with Ashes suspension

England star Ben Stokes in action during the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy Group A match, on June 6, 2017.
England star Ben Stokes in action during the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy Group A match, on June 6, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • England star Ben Stokes will not be considered for England international matches "until further notice", the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced yesterday.

The ECB's move came hours after video footage was released by The Sun newspaper which appeared to show Stokes fighting outside a Bristol nightclub.

The Test vice-captain was included in England's 16-man Ashes squad led by skipper Joe Root announced on Wednesday, despite injuring his hand in the incident that led to his arrest in Bristol on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

The 26-year-old was released without charge on Monday, but remains under investigation.

In the video posted by The Sun, Stokes appears to be fighting with two men, one of whom is holding a bottle.

"We have seen this footage for the first time tonight - when posted by The Sun," said the ECB on Wednesday.

"There is an ongoing police investigation, which will look at all available evidence, and we do have to respect that process."

Stokes was omitted from England's series-clinching one-day international (ODI) win against the West Indies at The Oval after being arrested in the early hours of Monday morning.

His arrest followed England's win in the third ODI in Bristol on Sunday.

Avon and Somerset police said on Tuesday they had been called to an incident in the Clifton district of Bristol at around 2.35am on Monday.

Stokes, potentially just one on-field offence away from a Test ban under the International Cricket Council's code of conduct, is seen as vital to England's chances of retaining the Ashes in Australia, which start with November's first Test in Brisbane.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2017, with the headline 'Brawling Stokes hit with Ashes suspension'. Print Edition | Subscribe