London: The England and Wales Cricket Board on Friday said that all-rounder Ben Stokes wouldn’t travel with the England team to Australia on October 28 for the Ashes, but a final call on his participation in the Test series is yet to be made.
The Test vice-captain was arrested last month after a nightclub brawl in Bristol where he allegedly caused bodily harm to a man. He was suspended from playing international cricket along with teammate Alex Hales, until further notice.
Stokes was named in the Ashes squad following this incident where he reportedly injured his hand. The Durham all-rounder from Durham remains under investigation, although he has been released.
As his replacement, the ECB has recalled pacer Steven Finn for the five-match Test series in Australia. Director of England cricket and former skipper Andrew Strauss said, “With the Ashes just around the corner, it’s important to give the players, the coaching staff and supporters some clarity around a complex situation.”
“This decision will help us in the weeks ahead and give every player and the whole England set-up the best chance to focus on the challenge ahead in Australia,” he also said.
He further added that Finn’s experience at this level would help England capture the urn. “Steven is a high-quality cricketer, with considerable experience of both international cricket and Australian conditions. The selectors believe he will add to the range of options and the squad will be further supported by the arrival of the Lions in Australia in November, “he further added.
Stokes has been confirmed to be awarded both the Test and limited overs’ contract by the board while Hales has been given only the limited overs’ one.
The ECB has also issued a formal written warning to wicketkeeper batsman Johnny Bairstow, Jake Ball and Liam Plunkett after a disciplinary investigation into their behaviour during the 50-overs series against the West Indies.
They also stated that these players are, “unrelated to the investigations into Ben Stokes and Alex Hales”.