Ben Stokes was arrested on Tuesday night    Getty Images
Ben Stokes was arrested on Tuesday night Getty Images

England have dropped Ben Stokes and Alex Hales from their side to play West Indies in the fourth one-day international at The Oval in London on Wednesday following Stokes’s arrest, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced Tuesday. The duo have been made unavailable after key all-rounder Stokes was arrested in Bristol in the early hours of Monday morning following England’s 124-run win in the third ODI in the southwest city on Sunday.

Hales was with Stokes on Sunday night.

“Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be available for tomorrow’s one-day International match against West Indies at The Oval,” ECB director of England cricket Andrew Strauss said while reading out a board statement to reporters at The Oval on Tuesday. “Stokes was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning, 25 September, following an incident in Bristol,” the former England captain added as he continued to read out the statement. ALSO READ: Stokes to be jailed if caught driving in the next six months

ECB Director Andrew Strauss and skipper Eoin Morgan address the press on this issue    Getty Images
ECB Director Andrew Strauss and skipper Eoin Morgan address the press on this issue Getty Images

“He was held overnight and released under investigation without charge late on Monday and will not join the team in London. Hales, who was with Stokes on Sunday night, did not train this (Tuesday) morning and has returned voluntarily to Bristol today to help police with their enquiries. You will understand that we cannot offer further detail at this stage but will provide any updates when we can,” he added.

England are due to name their squad for the Ashes Test series in Australia on Wednesday.

Strauss confirmed that both Durham star Stokes a Test regular and Nottinghamshire batsman Hales, a fringe candidate, will be considered for the Ashes squad on cricketing grounds alone by the England selectors at this stage.

Police Statement

Meanwhile a statement issued by Avon and Somerset police said: “We were called to a disorder in Queens Road, Clifton, at around 2:35am (0135 GMT) on Monday. A 27-year-old man was found to have 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.

The police statement asked anyone who was in the Clifton Triangle area in the early hours of Monday “who saw any part of this incident” to contact them.

Strauss, in a subsequent interview with Sky Sports News, confirmed Stokes and Hales remained available for Ashes selection, saying: “The selectors have been instructed to select the Ashes squad based on form and fitness.”

Replacements

England limited-overs captain said Jason Roy would replace Hales on the Surrey opener’s home ground, with pacemen Jake Ball and Tom Curran vying for Stokes’s spot.

“We feel we have a strong enough squad to be able to fill that hole,” insisted Morgan. “It’s important we can put this to one side and focus on our cricket.”

 

Role models?

In an interview with The Times magazine published on Saturday, Stokes was asked if he no longer drank alcohol on evenings out during a five-day Test.

“Yeah, why not?,” he replied. “We re grown men, go out for dinner, have a few pints.

“I’m 26, not 14. I don’t have to drink Diet Cokes with dinner.”

Meanwhile West Indies coach Stuart Law said the absence of Stokes and Hales was “nothing to do with us”.

But asked by AFP at The Oval on Tuesday whether current cricketers had to be careful on a night out, former Australia batsman Law answered: “With the invasion of the social media, you can’t really breathe without people knowing it.

“You are role models, you are people that the young kids and general public look up to.

“We were pretty luck in our era (when Law played) — it wasn’t as intrusive as what the social media can be in this day and age.

“But look, professional cricketers they get paid a good wage these days, no matter where they are playing, they get decent money and along with that comes responsibility.”

England limited-overs captain said Jason Roy would replace Hales on the Surrey opener’s home ground, with pacemen Jake Ball and Tom Curran vying for Stokes’s spot.

“We feel we have a strong enough squad to be able to fill that hole,” insisted Morgan. “It’s important we can put this to one side and focus on our cricket.”

Stokes was sent home from an England Lions or A-team tour in Australia in 2012-13, alongside team-mate Matt Coles, for flouting a ban on late-night drinking.

He was also sidelined from the 2014 World Twenty20 with a broken hand after punching a dressing-room locker in Barbados in frustration following a poor run of form.