English cricket star arrested after pub brawl
England's Ashes preparations are in turmoil after vice-captain Ben Stokes was arrested following a late-night pub fight in Bristol that left a man in hospital with facial injuries.
Stokes allegedly went toe to toe with a member of the public amid reports he injured his hand in the ugly incident, which also involved teammate and Ashes hopeful Alex Hales and occurred in the small hours after England had played the West Indies.
Bristol police have issued a public plea for more information after Stokes - arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm - allegedly left a 27-year-old man suffering facial injuries and taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary for treatment.
Stokes and Hales have both been stood down from England's remaining two one-dayers against the Windies and were no shows for training at The Oval.
Stokes is the world's premier all-rounder and deputy to captain Joe Root but his leadership position is now in serious jeopardy after the embarrassment of spending the night in a jail cell.
The ECB are due to name their Ashes squad on Wednesday in London but there are now giant question marks hanging over Stokes in particular.
Although Stokes has since been released without charge, police say they are continuing their investigations.
Hales returned to Bristol to assist police with their enquiries.
It's not the first off-field alcohol-related incident for hot-headed Stokes and he has now put his team under enormous scrutiny just weeks out from the first Ashes Test at the Gabba.
England Cricket Board chief Andrew Strauss rushed to The Oval yesterday amid the developing crisis and released a statement.
"Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be available for tomorrow's One-Day International match against West Indies at The Oval," read the statement.
"Stokes was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning, 25 September, following an incident in Bristol.
"He was held overnight and released under investigation - without charge - late on Monday and will not join the team in London.
"Hales, who was with Stokes on Sunday night, did not train this morning and has returned voluntarily to Bristol today to help Police with their enquiries.
"You will understand that we cannot offer further detail at this stage but will provide any updates when we can."
Stokes was named Root's vice-captain earlier this year, with the ECB overlooking his track record for disciplinary trouble on and off the field based on his standing as one of the most influential match-winners in world cricket.
In 2012 Stokes was arrested over a late-night incident and was cautioned by police and a year later he was sent home from an England Lions tour in disgrace for drinking.
In 2014 he was ordered home from the World Twenty20 after breaking his hand punching a locker.