Thursday 9 April, 2020

Stokes out of 4th ODI against Windies after arrest in Bristol

England all-rounder Ben Stokes.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes.

England will be without Ben Stokes and Alex Hales for the fourth One-Day International (ODI) against West Indies after the all-rounder was arrested in Bristol.

In a statement on Tuesday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed Stokes was held overnight by police following an incident in the early hours of Monday morning, before being released under investigation without charge.

Hales, who was with Stokes, has voluntarily returned to Bristol in order to help police with their enquiries. There is no suggestion that the Nottinghamshire player is guilty of any wrongdoing.

The ECB confirmed neither player would be available for Wednesday's match at The Oval. Both Stokes and Hales were absent as England began training in London on Tuesday. According to reports, neither man will be considered for the fifth ODI on Friday.

England played the Windies in Bristol on Sunday, with Stokes scoring 73 runs as the hosts secured a 124-run win to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in their ODI series, with two games to play.

The timing of the incident is notable with England set to announce their Test squad to tour Australia on Wednesday.

Stokes is currently vice-captain in the five-day format to Joe Root, while Hales has been considered an outside shot to fill the uncertain batting slots in England's line-up.

England director of cricket Andrew Strauss was quoted by ESPNCricinfo as saying: "I went to see Ben last night [Monday] down in Bristol. I will be addressing players this afternoon after practice.

"We will obviously be launching our own investigation into the circumstances surrounding this. The Ashes selection will be going ahead as planned."

Stokes was arrested and cautioned for abusive behaviour in 2011, and was sent home from a Lions tour in 2013 for "contravening conduct obligations".

An Avon and Somerset Police statement, released after the ECB confirmed Stokes' arrest, appealed for witnesses to "a disorder in the Queens Road or Clifton Triangle area of Bristol at around 2:35am" on Monday.

The police statement read: "A 27-year-old man suffered facial injuries and was taken to the Bristol Royal Infirmary for treatment.

"A 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and has since been released under investigation while enquiries continue."

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