Hales reinstated by England as Stokes case moves along

Alex Hales is available for England selection after confirmation that he is not guilty in the Bristol incident which also involved team-mate Ben Stokes.

England batsman Alex Hales   -  Getty Images

Alex Hales has been reinstated by England after it was confirmed that he is no longer a suspect in the case involving team-mate Ben Stokes.

Hales and Stokes were indefinitely suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in September after a video footage emerged, allegedly showing Stokes in an altercation with two men outside a nightclub in Bristol.

Read: Stokes arrested following late-night Bristol incident

Stokes was released under investigation on September 25 after being detained overnight on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm. Avon and Somerset Police have since confirmed that a man suffered a fractured eye socket in the incident and passed the case to the Crown Prosecution Service last week for "charging advice".

Hales was with Stokes in the early hours of the morning in Bristol after England had played West Indies in a one-day international, but the police have deemed that the opening batsman will not be charged.

An ECB statement read: "Alex Hales will now be considered for England selection, following confirmation that he is no longer a suspect in relation to an incident in Bristol in September.

"The ECB Board has convened via conference call to make the decision after being informed that Hales is deemed a witness and will face no charges.

"The independent Cricket Discipline Commission [CDC] has stayed the internal disciplinary process for both Alex Hales and Ben Stokes until the conclusion of any potential criminal proceedings relating to the incident."

Hales is unlikely to make a comeback in the ongoing Ashes series, but will be in line for an international return in the ODI series against Australia in the new year.

The waters around Stokes' availability were muddied this week as the ECB granted him a 'No Objection Certificate' (NOC), allowing the all-rounder to fly to New Zealand to play for Canterbury in limited-overs competition.

In the absence of their former vice-captain, stripped of the role amid this controversy, England lost the first Ashes Test by 10 wickets in Brisbane and are facing defeat in the second.

Read: Australia crushes England by 10 wickets in Brisbane

Reports have suggested that Stokes could be available to play in Perth from December 14 and a flight Down Under has done little to quell such suggestions. But the ECB has reaffirmed that there are no plans in place to reintroduce the 26-year-old any time soon.

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