England’s premier all-rounder Ben Stokes has been withdrawn from the squad for the Ashes series in November. He will not travel with the side to Australia as the police investigation on him is going on. He was involved in an altercation on the street of Durham and allegedly assaulted 2 men.
Ben Stokes is currently indefinitely suspended, however, he retained his central contract. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced today that Steven Finn has been added to the squad. The Middlesex pacer last played a Test in October 2016 against Bangladesh and he wasn’t considered for selection in the initial squad for the Ashes but his performance of 79/8 against Lancashire at Lord’s brought him back in contention.
No action against Stokes yet
Andrew Strauss, Director, England Cricket has confirmed that no action will be taken against Stokes until the reports of the police investigation are out. In a statement released by the Board, he mentioned the move was to bring clarity to the coaches and the players and believed that Finn will add value to the squad with a handful of international experience.
“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,” Strauss 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.
“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,” he added.