Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be available for the 4th ODI against West Indies as while the former was arrested on Monday night and held overnight after a brawl at a club in Bristol, Alex Hales, who was accompanying him, has missed the practice session to help police with the enquiries.
While Stokes was released without charge, he remains under investigation and will miss the final two matches against West Indies. Hales, on the other hand, is said to return for the final match of the One-Day International series.
England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed the news and released a statement on the matter. Here is what they said,
“Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be available for the 4th One-Day International against West Indies at The Oval. Ben Stokes was arrested during the early hours of Monday morning, following an incident in Bristol and was held overnight. However, he was released under investigation, without any charge, late on Monday and will not join the squad in London. Alex Hales, who was with Stokes on said night, did not train this morning as well as has returned voluntarily to Bristol to help Police with their enquiries. You will completely understand that we cannot offer further detail on the matter at this stage but will provide any updates whenever we can”.
Meanwhile, Avon and Somerset Police also issued a statement that read,
“A 27-year-old man suffered facial injuries and was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary for treatment. And a 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion for causing actual bodily harm but has since been released under investigation.”
— Avon and Somerset Police (@ASPolice) September 26, 2017
Interestingly, Ben Stokes has had a history of poor behavior and while in 2012, the England Cricket superstar was arrested on a night out as well as was warned by the police, in 2013, he was sent home from the England Lions tour over late-night drinking.
Also, the England all-rounder is known for his propensity to engage in fights as he missed the 2014 T20 World Cup due to a broken hand after punching a locker in anger for being dismissed for a golden duck.
Just a couple of days earlier, Ben Stokes told the Times that he would “never” punch a person, despite his well-documented temper while claiming that there’s adrenaline, but he’d never get close to punching a person. It’s just the heat of the moment.
On the other hand, Andrew Strauss, the ECB director, has confirmed that both Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will be considered for the selection of Ashes squad on just cricketing grounds at this stage.