ECB to withdraw Ben Stokes from ODI squad
What's the story?
England all-rounder Ben Stokes is set to be withdrawn from England's ODI squad to face Australia after the ongoing Ashes Down Under. The ECB might replace him with Dawid Malan, who is currently playing in the Ashes and has been in fine form.
In case you didn't know...
Stokes was arrested by the police for his involvement in a brawl outside a Bristol club in September. He was accused of, and arrested for, causing actual bodily harm but then released on bail. The Avon and Somerset Police, responsible for conducting an inquiry into the matter, had completed their investigation before asking the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) if Stokes should be lawfully penalized.
The heart of the matter
It was reported that a 27-year-old man had endured a fractured eye socket in the incident which had taken place outside the Mbargo nightclub after England played West Indies in an ODI in Bristol on September 24. As a result, Stokes was immediately pulled out of the remaining two ODIs and though he was initially named in England's Ashes squad, the ECB withdrew his name, awaiting a final report from the police.
The ODI series between Australia and England begins on January 14 with the first match in Melbourne. The tour also includes a T20 tri-series, with New Zealand being the third team.
With the police not yet having cleared Stokes of all charges, it was only sensible for him not to have represented his country until the final verdict has been given. Hence, to have named him in the squad for both the Tests as well as the ODIs was questionable.