LONDON, Dec 4, (AFP): Batsman Alex Hales will face no criminal charges over a fracas that resulted in an England suspension for him and all-rounder Ben Stokes, cricket chiefs said Monday. Hales, a 28-year-old opener, has not played any professional cricket since he and Stokes became embroiled in the late-night incident outside a Bristol nightclub on Sept 25. Following a brief statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Hales can expect to be considered when the Ashes tourists pick their squad for the limited-overs leg of their Australia trip following the conclusion of the ongoing second Test in Adelaide.
“Alex Hales will now be considered for England selection, following confi rmation that he is no longer a suspect in relation to an incident in Bristol in September,” the ECB statement said. Stokes, who made his return to cricket for Canterbury Kings in New Zealand on Sunday, is still waiting to hear if prosecutors will advise police to charge him following his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.
He and Hales were told in October they would not play for England until further notice and Stokes was excluded from the Ashes trip, despite having been named in the initial squad. The all-rounder could yet return mid-series if police decide not to charge him and he may be included provisionally when the limited-overs squad is announced.