Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stokes out of One-Day Clash - but Still Chance of Spot in Ashes Squad

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stokes out of One-Day Clash - but Still Chance of Spot in Ashes Squad

Article excerpt

BEN Stokes' arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm put England's Royal London Series plans in disarray but appears highly unlikely to affect his Ashes place.

Key all-rounder Stokes and opener Alex Hales, who voluntarily returned to Bristol to provide evidence on the disorder in which a man suffered facial injuries, both missed practice at The Oval and will be unavailable as England bid for a 3-0 lead in the fourth match of five against West Indies.

England and Wales Cricket Board director Andrew Strauss insisted Stokes' situation will not disturb England's plans to announce their much-anticipated Ashes squad - in which he still appears a certain inclusion - today, two hours before Eoin Morgan's team take the field.

Durham star Stokes' availability up until the end of the Ashes is thought to be assured even if he is charged, although England will also hold their own investigations into what happened.

Strauss gave a brief interview to Sky Sports News, in which he spelled out plans to name the Ashes tour party remain in place.

"The selectors have been instructed to select the Ashes squad based on form and fitness," he said, after an ECB statement was released explaining Hales' and Stokes' absence from nets.

The statement read: "Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be available for tomorrow's one-day international match against West Indies at The Oval.

"Stokes was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning, 25 September, following an incident in Bristol.

"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 morning and has returned voluntarily to Bristol today to help police with their inquiries."

Morgan acknowledges England must regroup as they try to close out series victory.

"It is a big blow," he said. "It has been a distraction over the last day or so, but these things happen. …

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