LONDON – 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, according to the England and Wales Cricket Board.
“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.
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.
“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.
“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.”
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.
Avon and Somerset police issued an appeal for information, saying a 27-year-old man suffered facial injuries and was taken to the Bristol Infirmary for treatment after disorder in the Queens Road and Clifton Triangle area at 2.35am on Monday morning.
The incident is thought to have taken place near the Mbargo nightclub, the Guardian reported.
“A 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and has since been released under investigation while inquiries continue,” it added.
The England limited overs captain, Eoin Morgan, said of the incident : “It has been a bit of a distraction but ultimately this game is about winning the series.”
Stokes and Hales’s replacements will be announced on Wednesday morning. “Two positions are up for grabs and we will think about that today and make a decision tomorrow morning,” said Morgan. “We feel we have a strong enough squad to be able to select from in order to fill that hole.”
Stokes scored 73 runs from 63 balls during a 132-run partnership with Joe Root in Bristol on Sunday as England beat West Indies by 124 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match ODI series, with one game abandoned.
Stokes was sent home from a 2013 England Lions tour of Australia after ignoring a curfew and going out drinking.
In 2014 he was picked for the one-day tour of the Caribbean and broke his hand punching a locker after being dismissed for a golden duck by Krishmar Santoki. The injury ruled him out of the World Twenty20.