LONDON: Ben Stokes and Alex Hales have been charged with bringing the game into disrepute by the England and Wales Cricket Board 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 in September 2017. Each player has been charged with two counts of breaching ECB directive 3.3, which states: “No participant may conduct themself 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.”
Stokes denied a charge of affray and was cleared following a seven-day 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.
Stokes, 27, missed the second Test against India last month because of his trial but was recalled for the third match of the series following his acquittal. The incident outside the nightclub saw England eventually decide against playing him in the 2017/18 Ashes, which they 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.