All-rounder Ben Stokes will not travel with the rest of England’s squad for the Ashes, though no final decision has been taken on his participation in the Test series in Australia, the England Cricket Board (ECB) said on Friday.
The 26-year-old Stokes, England’s vice captain and one of their most important players, was suspended after he and team mate Alex Hales were arrested following an altercation outside a Bristol nightclub last month and released under investigation.
Pace bowler Steven Finn has been added to the Ashes squad and will travel to Australia with the rest of the team on Oct. 28, the ECB said in a statement on its website.
“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,” said the England team director, Andrew Strauss. “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 [Finn] 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.”
The five-Test series starts in Brisbane on Nov. 23.