Ben Stokes’ Ashes hopes could be gone after copping England suspension

By Reuters,

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    Ben Stokes’ fading Ashes prospects may hinge on the next stage of police investigations after England suspended him and Alex Hales from all future international matches until further notice.

    The announcement came a day after Stokes, England’s highest-profile cricketer and vice-captain of the Test side, was named in the 16-man squad for the Ashes tour of Australia starting in November.

    The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement that both Stokes and Hales remained on full pay pending further investigation into the incident in the early hours of Monday.

    Stokes was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and then released without charge under investigation on Monday, but has remained under investigation ever since. Hales was with him at the time of the incident.

    “Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be considered for selection for England international matches until further notice,” the ECB said.

    “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.”

    The Sun newspaper published footage of what it said was a brawl between the player and two other people, one clutching a bottle.

    Media reports said Stokes, who suffered a minor fracture of a finger on his right hand, had apologised to the ECB for his arrest and described his state of mind as “fragile and devastated”.

    Should the 26-year-old definitively be ruled out of the tour, it would be a huge blow for England whose chances of defending the Ashes in Australia have already been called into question.

    The hosts whitewashed England 5-0 in 2013/14.

    It will fall largely to coach Trevor Bayliss to ensure England set aside ongoing distractions – which, the Australian admits, are substantial.

    Bayliss is no stranger to first-hand stress, having been caught up eight years ago in the deadly terror attack on the team bus in Lahore while he was coach of Sri Lanka.

    Asked how tough he would describe the challenge of the past few days, the 54-year-old said: “It’s right up – it’s probably in the top two [in my cricket career], I would have thought.

    “It’s very difficult for everyone involved.

    “It’s something that obviously we didn’t want to go through, and hope we don’t go through again.”

    © Reuters 2018
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    The Crowd Says (31)

    • September 29th 2017 @ 9:14am
      jameswm said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:14am | ! Report

      The plot thickens.

    • Roar Guru

      September 29th 2017 @ 9:48am
      Edward L'Orange said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

      Apparently there are claims that Stokes was defending two gay guys, and that why he was fighting.

      I don’t know the truth behind it, but it’s still no excuse for the way he pursued and knocked out that guy after they tried to walk away; you just can’t do that when you are in such a public role.

      It also comes across as using the gay guys as an excuse. It’s almost like the PR team are trying to project him as some sort of hero, when in reality it just comes across as condescending, like there was no way the gay guys could have defend themselves.

      • September 29th 2017 @ 11:48am
        Diplomatt said | September 29th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

        Piers Morgan is not a reliable source. I do admire how the English are trying to spin this. So he was actually the hero punching out a bloke who posed exactly zero threat? The actus reus and mens rea are on display in that video. He has a case to answer. Better hope the Judge is a cricket fan.

        • September 29th 2017 @ 7:03pm
          Perthstayer said | September 29th 2017 @ 7:03pm | ! Report


          Gay people or no gay people, hero or no hero, people who glass (read stab) someone in UK get years in jail in UK, not months. It is considered a very serious crime there. His pursuing the second man will be harder to overcome, but not insurmountable under the circumstances.

          Lets say there is no other evidence but this video. He saw someone being potentially disfigured for life, potentially losing an eye, potentially having an ear sliced off etc. Vigilantism is illegal but so’s provocation.

          Does everyone forget Warner punching Root!!!!!

          • September 29th 2017 @ 10:26pm
            Ouch said | September 29th 2017 @ 10:26pm | ! Report

            “Does everyone forget Warner punching Root!!!!!”

            No, how can we? Opponents are always ready to remind us.
            Come on. Warner punched him once. Stokes laid 15 punches and not one was thrown his way. He put the bloke in hospital. Warner was outed for 3 Ashes tests over that punch. Stokes is also vice captain of the English cricket side. One of the most prestigious jobs in England.
            Ben Stokes has a terrible disciplinary record, far worse than Warner who, apart from that incident has kept his head down. Stokes’s reads like a rap sheet.
            If Stokes was an Aussie he’d be pilloried. The ECB is always finding excuses for him and he keeps behaving the same way. If the ECB have any integrity, they should keep him out of the Ashes side as well as prevent him from earning an easy million or so in the IPL and BBL.

            • September 30th 2017 @ 6:19pm
              doogs said | September 30th 2017 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

              i agree. I don’t care so much. Stokes is not my favourite dude but I would like him to be here to play in the Ashes. i want the Aussies to play the best team. Yet if Warner did this he would have been sent to the moon. Warner turned his life around. I hope Stokes does too.

        • September 29th 2017 @ 9:58pm
          Jumbo said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:58pm | ! Report

          Zero threat? He had just been waving a bottle about. In my experience blokes who pick up bottles are also the type to back away when confronted, but then hit you around the back of your head as soon as your back is turned.

          The lad had it coming, and I reckon any jury of honest, solid Englishmen will see that Stokes was acting in self-defence.

          Things might be different in nanny state Australia, but in the Old Country a man has a right to defend himself.

          • September 30th 2017 @ 7:00am
            Alan said | September 30th 2017 @ 7:00am | ! Report

            “honest, solid Englishmen” who follow cricket ? perchance?

    • September 29th 2017 @ 9:56am
      jameswm said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

      “you just can’t do that when you are in such a public role”

      You can delete all words after “that” in the sentence…

    • September 29th 2017 @ 10:35am
      danwain said | September 29th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

      PR wheels are spinning, he will be here

    • September 29th 2017 @ 10:49am
      Ouch said | September 29th 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

      Looks like Stokes could be in further strife after mocking a TV presenters disabled son. Not illegal but pretty low.

      • September 29th 2017 @ 12:12pm
        Diplomatt said | September 29th 2017 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

        @ouch about as low as it gets. The man has kids himself. Comes across as a real POS.

      • Columnist

        September 29th 2017 @ 5:14pm
        Ronan O'Connell said | September 29th 2017 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

        Curious that Stokes supposedly feels strongly about defending gay men against homophobia but has no qualms about callously mocking a disabled boy.

        • September 29th 2017 @ 6:23pm
          punter said | September 29th 2017 @ 6:23pm | ! Report

          Not defending violence in anyway, but we should wait for the whole story. There was a guy, one of the alleged victims who seem to be brandishing a bottle or a glass around & you can hear the bottle hitting the ground when Stokes hit him.

          • Roar Guru

            September 29th 2017 @ 6:50pm
            Edward L'Orange said | September 29th 2017 @ 6:50pm | ! Report

            I’ve been asking myself this: what could possibly be in the ‘whole story’ that would make you think “oh well, yeah, that was justified then.”

            I really can’t think of anything.

          • September 29th 2017 @ 7:09pm
            Perthstayer said | September 29th 2017 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

            punter – whole story is Stokes goes nuts after one of the guys was threatening/attempting to attack with a bottle.

            • September 29th 2017 @ 7:43pm
              Chris Love said | September 29th 2017 @ 7:43pm | ! Report

              I’d say “IF” the whole story really is that these two were ready to attack two men because they were gay and Stokes intervened and a bottle was used as a threat at any point. Then Ben Stokes is a bloody legend and the bloke got EXACTLY what what was coming to him. People that glass/bottle people need a good flogging.

              • September 30th 2017 @ 7:04am
                Alan said | September 30th 2017 @ 7:04am | ! Report

                Hi Chris I totally agree. BTW I have an excellent bridge with great harbour views, for sale in Sydney should you be looking for investment opportunities…

    • September 29th 2017 @ 10:55am
      Mike Dugg said | September 29th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

      They are coming up with pr stories in an order to spin it as he was a white knight. Well white knights don’t hit people who are backing away with their hands in the air. White knights don’t hit people until a teammate begs them to stop.
      Save Warner did a lesser offense and copped a three match ban. This should mean no ashes for stokes. But Strauss will come up with some way of making sure he will be there

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