Ashes 2017: Ben Stokes and Alex Hales included in England's ODI squad to face Australia

Jack Austin
Ashes 2017: Ben Stokes and Alex Hales included in England's ODI squad to face Australia

Ben Stokes’ path back to the England team has seemingly been cleared after he and Alex Hales were provisionally selected for the one-day international series against Australia.

The all-rounder is currently playing for Canterbury Kings with he and Hales having not played for England since 24 September after they were declared unavailable for selection until further notice following their night out in Bristol which saw Stokes arrested.

Stokes is not currently part of England’s Ashes squad as he awaits the result of the ongoing police investigation into that incident outside a nightclub following his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm on 25 September.

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Hales was also present on that night out after England’s ODI win the previous day, but will not face any charges, with both men named in the 16-man squad to face Australia at the conclusion of the Test series in Australia.

“Selectors were given clear guidance to name their strongest squad and have made their selections accordingly,” the ECB said in a short statement.

“Both Alex Hales and Ben Stokes are included, though their involvement remains subject to any relevant legal or disciplinary developments in relation to the incident in Bristol in September.”

Coach Trevor Bayliss said: “That's been discussed - but whenever he comes back it's going to be a bit of a circus for sure. Whether it's any more of a circus than it's already been, it's hard to say. If it happens, let's just get on with it and take it on the chin.”

England's management will doubtless be held to account over their handling of the situation.

Acknowledging that scrutiny, Bayliss added: “I'm sure there will be. There's been a fair bit of scrutiny that's come along with it in the first five or six weeks (of England's Ashes tour) as well. But we've got to adjust to that at some stage.”

Asked about the timing of any clarification of Stokes' situation, Bayliss said: “I've got absolutely no idea ... (we're) still waiting for the police report.”

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