Stokes to speak out “at right time” about Bristol incident

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Ben Stokes will offer a full explanation of the incident in Bristol last month which could cost him his Ashes place “when the time is right”.

The England all-rounder, 26, was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm following a disturbance outside a nightclub in the city on September 25. He will not travel to Australia with the rest of the England squad for this winter’s Ashes series as he waits to learn whether he will face criminal charges.

He has not been ruled out of the five-Test series which starts on November 23, but the England and Wales Cricket Board will not consider him for selection until further notice as it awaits developments in the ongoing investigation by Avon & Somerset Police.

Neil Fairbrother, Stokes’ agent with International Sports Management, said the Durham player would discuss his version of events in due course, but did not wish to prejudice the investigation.

Fairbrother said in a statement: “Ben explained to me the full circumstances of what happened in Bristol and I told him that he has my total support and backing. I am aware that he has fully co-operated with the police inquiry and voluntarily provided a detailed statement on the same day as the incident. He will continue to assist the police in any way he can.

“Ben will also make public his full explanation and evidence when the time is right. On legal advice, that is not possible whilst the investigation continues and no charges have been brought forward. Ben does not wish to prejudice the process.

“He is also concerned about the impact the widespread publicity has on everyone involved including the ECB, his team-mates and the game of cricket itself which he loves. We will not be making any further comment relating to this at this time.”

Journalist and TV presenter Piers Morgan, a celebrity acquaintance of several cricketers, claimed last month that the alleged fight occurred after Stokes and international team-mate Alex Hales had defended two gay men from homophobic abuse.

Stokes’ contract with sports equipment manufacturer New Balance was terminated on Wednesday.

New Balance said it “does not condone behaviour… that does not match our brand culture and values” in ending its relationship with Stokes.

The company’s decision was announced hours after Stokes apologised to Katie Price and her disabled son Harvey after a video emerged of Stokes impersonating the pair.

The video came to light shortly after Stokes’ arrest last month. Stokes, who is also subject to internal disciplinary action, has had his central contract renewed by the ECB since his arrest.

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