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Stokes will speak 'when time is right'

Allrounder given backing after explaining full version of events that lead to arrest, but fans must wait until police investigation concludes

Ben Stokes is waiting until "the time is right" before explaining the violent incident that could yet cost him a spot in England's Ashes squad, his agent said on Thursday.

The talismanic allrounder, 26, was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm after an altercation outside a nightclub in Bristol in the south-west of England in the early hours of September 25.

He has been suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board until further notice, remains under police investigation, is facing England's internal disciplinary process and will not fly with England's Ashes squad when they depart London in a fortnight.

Now his agent, Neil Fairbrother, said Stokes would not discuss the incident out of respect for the police's ongoing investigation.

"Ben explained to me the full circumstances of what happened in Bristol and I told him that he has my total support and backing," Fairbrother said in a statement.

WATCH: Alleged footage of Stokes' Bristol brawl

"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."

Stokes will not travel to Australia with the rest of the England squad on October 28 as he is waiting to discover if he will face criminal charges.

The Durham player received a new central contract from the ECB, but his contract with kit manufacturer New Balance was terminated on Wednesday.

New Balance said it "does not condone behaviour ... that does not match our brand culture and values".

Stokes has also issued a statement apologising for a video in which he appeared to mock the disabled son of British model and television personality Katie Price.


The 26-year-old, England's vice-captain, 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.

Stokes, who is also subject to internal disciplinary action, has had his central contract renewed by the ECB since his arrest.

"Ben Stokes will not travel at this stage, though no final decision has been taken on his involvement in Australia," the ECB said in a statement last week.

England Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss said the decision to remove Stokes from the touring party - for now - was made to provide clarity around the allrounder's short-term future.

"With the Ashes just around the corner, it’s important to give the players, the coaching staff and supporters some clarity around a complex situation," Strauss said in a statement.

"This decision will help us in the weeks ahead and give every player and the whole England set-up the best chance to focus on the challenge ahead in Australia.

“We have spoken to Ben and assured him that our decision in no way prejudges the outcome of the ongoing Police investigation or Cricket Discipline Commission process, as can be seen by the award of Central Contracts."

Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn was added to the England squad who will depart London on October 28.

England Test squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Steven Finn, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.

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