Ben Stokes, Alex Hales charged with bringing cricket into disrepute

The independent Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) was tasked with leading an internal investigation into the incident outside a nightclub in Bristol, southwest England, which took place last September.

Stokes missed the second Test against India last month, but was recalled for the third match of the series following his acquittal.   -  Getty Images

Ben Stokes and Alex Hales have been charged with bringing the game into disrepute by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) following a late-night street brawl last year.

The independent Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) was tasked with leading an internal investigation into the incident outside a nightclub in Bristol, southwest England, which took place last September.

The England pair will have to answer to two counts of breaching ECB directive 3.3, which states: “No participant may conduct themselves in a manner or do any act or omission at any time which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the ECB, the game of cricket or any cricketer or group of cricketers into disrepute.”

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Stokes denied a charge of affray and was cleared following a trial last month. His teammate, Hales, was with Stokes during the altercation, but was not charged.

All-rounder Stokes, whose co-defendant Ryan Ali was also found not guilty, had been charged following the fight hours after England played the West Indies in a one-day international in Bristol, southwest England, in September 2017.

The 27-year-old missed the second Test against India last month, but was recalled for the third match of the series following his acquittal.

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Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Stokes came to England in 2003 after his father Ged was appointed coach of the Workington rugby league side.

The incident outside the nightclub saw England eventually decide against playing him in the 2017/18 Ashes, which it lost 4-0 after he had been removed from the position of Test vice-captain.

Stokes returned to international duty during the post-Ashes tour of New Zealand. Big-hitting batsman Hales, 29, last played for England in the third Twenty20 match against India in early July.

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The disciplinary panel hearings will be held in London on December 5 and December 7. The CDC has a wide range of penalties open to it including issuing a caution, reprimand, a fine or suspension.

The hearing, which will be held in private and chaired by former First-Class cricketer Tim O'Gorman, will take place between England's two winter tours.

England will play three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match in Sri Lanka in October and November. It is also scheduled to play three Tests, five ODIs and three T20 matches in the West Indies from January until March.

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Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Stokes came to England in 2003 after his father Ged was appointed coach of the Workington rugby league side.

Stokes has played 46 Tests since making his debut against Australia in 2013. He has also played 70 ODIs and made 22 T20 appearances. Hales, now a limited-overs specialist, has played 65 ODIs and 56 T20 matches.