London - Ben
Stokes's Ashes hopes were in the balance on Thursday after England
suspended him from international matches "until further notice" after a
video emerged apparently showing him fighting outside a nightclub.
WATCH: Stokes throws punches in street brawl
vice-captain Stokes was included in England's Ashes squad announced
on Wednesday, despite injuring his hand in the incident that led to his
arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.
The 26-year-old Durham all-rounder was released without charge on Monday but remains under investigation.
The Sun newspaper published the footage from outside a nightclub in the southwest city of Bristol late on Wednesday.
batsman Alex Hales, who was with Stokes on Sunday after playing
alongside him during a win over West Indies in the third one-day
international (ODI) in Bristol, has also been suspended from England
"Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be
considered for selection for England international matches until further
notice," said an ECB statement.
"Each remains on full pay pending
further ECB investigation and the ongoing police investigation into an
incident in Bristol in the early hours of Monday 25 September.
Strauss, director of England cricket, will today refer the internal
disciplinary procedure for these two players to the Cricket Discipline
Commission, chaired by Tim O'Gorman."
The statement added: "These
decisions, fully supported by ECB chairman Colin Graves, were made
following the release of footage viewed by ECB for the first time on
Neither Hales, who returned voluntarily to
Bristol on Tuesday to give further evidence to police about the
incident, nor Stokes were selected for Wednesday's six-run win over West
Indies in the fourth one-day international at The Oval that gave
England an unbeatable 3-0 series lead.
Stokes's hand injury may well have meant he was physically unfit for selection in any case.
have one more international fixture - the fifth ODI against West
Indies in Southampton on Friday - before they are due to travel to
Australia on October 28.
Dawid Malan has been added as cover to the squad for the Southampton match after Hales was ruled out.
England's next international fixture will be the first Test against
Australia in Brisbane commencing on November 23.
Hales, who last played Test cricket over a year ago, was not included in the Ashes squad.
coach Trevor Bayliss said on Wednesday he was disappointed that Stokes had
been out as late as 2:35 am, when police were called to the
incident, and said team management would look at whether they needed to
impose a curfew during the five-Test Ashes series.
Australian defended retaining Stokes as vice-captain to Test skipper Joe
Root, saying: "What he has shown for us is that he is a leader within
this group when it comes to cricket.
"At the moment I am quite happy for him to be the vice-captain," Bayliss added.
potentially just one on-field offence away from a Test ban under the
International Cricket Council's code of conduct, is seen as vital to
England's chances of retaining the Ashes, with former England captain
Michael Vaughan, saying: "I don't think England can win in Australia
without Ben Stokes."
This is not the first time Stokes has been involved in a controversial off-field incident.
In 2011 he was arrested and later cautioned for obstructing police on a pre-Christmas night out.
And in February 2013 he was sent home from an England A team tour of Australia for flouting rules on late-night drinking.
June last year Stokes was fined after he was caught speeding for a
fourth time and warned a further offence could lead to a prison
Stokes told The Times in an interview published on Saturday he enjoyed a couple of beers after stumps.
"We're grown men, go out for dinner, have a few pints," he said. "I'm 26, not 14. I don't have to drink Diet Cokes with dinner."