Stokes, Hales to get new contract: reports

Still under an Ashes cloud, Ben Stokes is set to have his England central contract deal renewed by the ECB today

England allrounder Ben Stokes is expected to receive a show of support from the England and Wales Cricket Board and be among the players named in its central contract list, according to reports.

UK newspaper The Telegraph said Stokes would be one of about 10 players offered the top-earning central contract.

The news would be a welcome boost for Stokes who remains suspended by the ECB – on full pay – and under police investigation for his alleged role in a street brawl in Bristol last month.

The ECB is expected to name its new central contract list on Friday, with Alex Hales – who was out in Bristol with Stokes the night trouble hit – also expected to keep his deal.

Telegraph correspondent Nick Hoult wrote: "The ECB does not want him to slip out of contract and recognise it has to support him while the judicial process is ongoing.

"The announcement has been delayed for 48 hours due to minor tinkering over the terms and conditions of the contracts covering off-field behaviour in the light of Stokes's arrest last week," he added.

WATCH: Alleged footage of Stokes' Bristol brawl

Stokes' Ashes prospects remain in jeopardy as England await the next stage in a police investigation after his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

His hopes of boarding the plane with the rest of captain Joe Root's men remain uncertain as the scheduled departure date of October 28 approaches.

Stokes was arrested 10 days ago after disorder outside a Bristol nightclub. The 26-year-old had been released without charge but remains under investigation by Avon and Somerset police. Two days later, England picked him as planned in their Ashes squad and retained him as vice-captain.

ECB director Andrew Strauss announced last week the governing body's own disciplinary investigation into Stokes and Hales over the disturbance early on September 25 in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol.

It was after a video allegedly showing footage of the incident was posted on The Sun's website that the ECB suspended both from future selection, pending a Cricket Discipline Commission inquiry into the incident.

England's record wicket-taker James Anderson is the latest player to insist their Ashes defence does not rest on whether Stokes boards the plane or not.

"When we won the Ashes in 2010-11, we didn't win it with 11 players – we won with 13, 14, 15 players," Anderson told Sky Sports News.

"The biggest thing for us is we get 15 or 16 players to be on top of their game when we get to Australia and be able to perform for our team.

"Once we get there, the only focus will be beating Australia ... It's just a case of being strong enough and having that tunnel vision to focus on the individual and as a team and what will help the team win the series."

The 35-year-old is a veteran of three Ashes tours to Australia, two of which ended in whitewash defeats with a famous series victory in 2010-11 in between.

"My own focus will be on my bowling and what I can do to help the team and I'm sure all the other individuals in the side will do that," he added with  If we can do that then I'm sure we'll galvanise and put in a strong performance," Anderson added.

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

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