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HomeSportsBen Stokes's Ashes in fresh doubt after 'brawl' video

Ben Stokes’s Ashes in fresh doubt after ‘brawl’ video

England star Ben Stokes’s inclusion for the Ashes tour of Australia was under renewed scrutiny after the Sun newspaper published video footage purporting to show him engaged in a street brawl.

The Test Vice-Captain was included in England’s 16-man Ashes squad led by skipper Joe Root announced on Wednesday, despite injuring his hand in the incident that led to his arrest in Bristol on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

The 26-year-old was released without charge on Monday, but remains under investigation.

In the video posted by the Sun, which headlined its front-page splash ‘Hit for Six’, Stokes appears to be fighting with two men, one of whom is holding a bottle.

“We have seen this footage for the first time tonight — when posted by The Sun,” said the England and Wales Cricket Board.

“There is an ongoing police investigation, which will look at all available evidence, and we do have to respect that process.”

He was omitted from England’s series-clinching ODI win against West Indies at The Oval after being arrested in the early hours of Monday morning.

His arrest followed England’s win in the third ODI in the south-western city of Bristol on Sunday.

“As it currently stands, he is (Test) vice-captain pending any disciplinary action,” ECB cricket director Andrew Strauss told reporters.

England ODI regular Alex Hales — an Ashes long-shot who did not make the Test squad — was also left out of Wednesday’s match after being with Stokes on Sunday night.

Avon and Somerset police said Tuesday they had been called to an incident in the Clifton district of Bristol at around 2:35 am (0135 GMT) on Monday.

England coach Trevor Bayliss replied “definitely not” when asked by Sky Sports on Wednesday if he was happy with players staying out until the early hours during a series.

“The other night a few guys being out were very unprofessional in the middle of a series,” the Australian added.

Both Bayliss and Strauss are wary of curfews, with the ex-England skipper saying they believed in “treating people like adults”.

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