ENGLAND cricket star Ben Stokes was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm following a midnight bust-up in Bristol after Sunday’s win over the West Indies.
Team-mate Alex Hales voluntarily offered his assistance to Bristol police to help with enquiries, with the pair both missing from the next ODI game on Wednesday.
Both Stokes, 26, and Hales, 28, were missing from England’s nets session on Tuesday morning with director of cricket Andrew Strauss releasing a statement on their absence.
It read: “Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be available for tomorrow’s one-day international against West Indies at The Oval.
Do you have any information or pictures from the night in question? Call 020 7782 4104 or email [email protected] now.
“Stokes was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning, September 25, 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 enquiries.
“You will understand that we cannot offer further detail at this stage but will provide any updates when we can.”
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Meanwhile, a statement from Avon and Somerset Police read: “We were called to a disorder in Queens Road, Clifton, at around 2.35am on Monday (September 25).
“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 news comes a day before the Ashes squad is set to be announced.
The ongoing police investigation could result in Stokes having to fly back to England during the two-month Australia tour.
Joe Root’s men are just weeks away from heading Down Under for the massive series.
SunSport understands Hales and Stokes were out in Mbargo nightclub in Bristol on the evening in question, before heading to PRYZM nightclub near the waterfront before 1am.
The police statement suggests Stokes and Hales headed back towards Mbargo, located on Queens Road.
ECB director Andrew Strauss made an unexpected trip to The Oval to explain the reasons for Stokes’ and Hales’ absence from nets on the eve of a match in which England will bid to wrap up the series with a 3-0 lead.
Plans remain in place for England to name their Ashes squad before Wednesday’s match.
Stokes is a certain inclusion, as long as he is fit, while Hales is a less likely contender – having played the last of his 11 Tests 13 months ago.
In an interview on Sky Sports News, Strauss said: “You will understand we can’t offer any further details on this at this point and that we will provide updates when we have updates and information to give.
“The selectors have been instructed to select the Ashes squad based on from and fitness.”
Just this weekend, Stokes told The Times he would “never” punch someone, despite his well-documented temper.
He claimed: “There’s adrenaline there, but I’d never get close to punching someone. It’s the heat of the moment.
“Trying to be the bloke to get the wicket that will change the game back in our favour.”
Stokes has found himself at the centre of controversy, starting in 2011 when he was arrested for obstructing police on a night out and ultimately cautioned.
The following year saw him sent home from an England Lions tour in Australia, alongside team-mate Matt Coles, for repeatedly flouting rules on late-night drinking.
England were made to do without the all-rounder at the 2014 World T20 after he punched a dressing-room locker in Barbados in frustration at a run of poor form, breaking his hand.
In 2016, Stokes appeared at Northallerton Magistrates Court after being convicted of speeding for a fourth time.
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