England confirm Ben Stokes will not travel to Australia with the rest of the squad for the Ashes series

Ben Burrows
Ben Stokes will not travel to Australia with the rest of the England squad: AFP

Ben Stokes will not travel to Australia with the rest of the England squad for the Ashes, the ECB have confirmed.

All-rounder Stokes, who is currently under police investigation having been arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm last month, has been suspended indefinitely alongside teammate Alex Hales and both aren't being considered for selection in any format of the game until further notice.

The ECB are yet to make a final decision on Stokes' involvement in this winter's tour Down Under but, if he does feature, the 26-year-old will travel later.

Middlesex seamer Steven Finn has been added to the squad and will travel with the rest of the side for the five-match Test series later this month.

Both Stokes and Hales have, however, been retained on central contracts with director of England Cricket Andrew Strauss confirming the news on Friday.

“With the Ashes just around the corner, it’s important to give the players, the coaching staff and supporters some clarity around a complex situation," he said. “This decision will help us in the weeks ahead and give every player and the whole England set-up the best chance to focus on the challenge ahead in Australia.

“Steven is a high-quality cricketer, with considerable experience of both international cricket and Australian conditions. The selectors believe he will add to the range of options and the squad will be further supported by the arrival of the Lions in Australia in November.”

Stokes could yet travel to Australia at a later date (Sarah Ansell/Getty)

“We have spoken to Ben and assured him that our decision in no way prejudges the outcome of the ongoing police investigation or Cricket Discipline Commission process, as can be seen by the award of central contracts.

“On these, I would like to congratulate all of those who have received England contracts for 2017/18, ahead of a busy year of international cricket.”

In a separate matter, the ECB has also fined and issued a written warning to Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball and Liam Plunkett following a disciplinary investigation into behaviour during the recent one-day series against West Indies.


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