ALEX HALES has seen his England suspension lifted in time to be named in the provisional squad for the one-day series in Australia.
The explosive batsman has been cleared by police over a late-night street brawl in Bristol.
Stokes – whose hopes of playing in the Ashes are fading – remains suspended by the ECB but has been representing Canterbury as an overseas player.
His chances of returning for the five-match series are dependent on the Crown Prosecution Service deciding not to file charges.
An ECB statement said: “Alex Hales will now be considered for England selection, following confirmation that he is no longer a suspect in relation to an incident in Bristol in September.
“The ECB Board has convened via conference call to make the decision after being informed that Hales is deemed a witness and will face no charges.
“The independent Cricket Discipline Commission [CDC] has stayed the internal disciplinary process for both Alex Hales and Ben Stokes until the conclusion of any potential criminal proceedings relating to the incident.
“Players, England Selectors and the England management team have all been informed.
“ECB has also approved a formal request for a ‘No Objection Certificate’ [NOC] to allow Hales to play in the inaugural T10 Cricket League in Dubai from December 21-24.”
Avon and Somerset police have completed their investigation into Stokes and the CPS are due to make a decision this week.
England’s squad for the ODIs is due to be named after the Second Test in Adelaide is finished.
Joe Root’s bowlers launched a brave fightback at the end of Day Three but the tourists remain huge underdogs.
Chris Woakes ripped out dangermen David Warner and Steve Smith, having helped save England from complete oblivion with the bat.
But Root’s men know they still face a steep uphill struggle to avoid a 2-0 deficit, with the Aussies still 268 runs ahead despite a collapse.
Woakes said: “We fought back nicely but are still behind in the game. It is good to see a fight back and we showed good character and put them under pressure.
“We could have had a better day with the bat. We have played a few loose shots as a batting unit. We have to bat for longer periods and make the bowlers come back and bowl three, four or five spells.
“When you build a partnership and work as a pair it gets easier. When you first go to the crease it is tough but it is Ashes cricket you expect it to be tough.”
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