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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Ben Stokes' ECB suspension until 'further notice' puts his Ashes tour in doubt

England and Wales Cricket Board's move comes hours after video footage released appearing to show all-rounder fighting outside nightclub

Ben Stokes was released without charge on Monday, but remains under investigation. Michael Steele / Getty Images
Ben Stokes was released without charge on Monday, but remains under investigation. Michael Steele / Getty Images

Ben Stokes will not be considered for England international matches "until further notice" after a video emerged apparently showing him fighting outside a nightclub, the England and Wales Cricket Board said Thursday.

Test vice-captain Stokes was included in England's Ashes squad announced Wednesday, despite injuring his hand in the incident that led to his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

The 26-year-old Durham all-rounder was released without charge on Monday but remains under investigation.

The Sun newspaper published the footage from outside a nightclub in the south-west city of Bristol late on Wednesday.

Opening batsman Alex Hales, who was with Stokes late on Sunday after playing alongside him during England's win over West Indies in the third one-day international in Bristol, has also been suspended from international selection.

"Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be considered for selection for England international matches until further notice," an ECB statement said.

"Each remains on full pay pending further ECB investigation and the ongoing police investigation into an incident in Bristol in the early hours of Monday 25 September.

"Andrew Strauss, director of England cricket, will today refer the internal disciplinary procedure for these two players to the Cricket Discipline Commission, chaired by Tim O’Gorman."

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The statement added: "These decisions, fully supported by ECB chairman Colin Graves, were made following the release of footage viewed by ECB for the first time on Wednesday night."

Neither Hales, who returned voluntarily to Bristol on Tuesday to give further evidence to police about the incident, nor Stokes were selected for Wednesday's six-run win over West Indies in the fourth one-day international at The Oval in London that gave England an unbeatable 3-0 series lead.

Stokes's hand injury may well have meant he was physically unfit for selection in any case.

Adding to Stokes’s embarrassment, a video also emerged on Thursday afternoon which showed him mocking the 15 year-old disabled son of television personality and model Katie Price.

England have one more international fixture - the fifth ODI against West Indies in Southampton on Friday - before the end of their home season.

Their next international match will be when they start their Ashes defence with the first Test against Australia in Brisbane commencing on November 23, although they do have three warm-up tour games prior to that fixture.

Hales was not included in the Ashes squad.