AFP & Cricket Network
AFP & Cricket Network
England star Ben Stokes' place in the Ashes tour of Australia appeared to be in fresh jeopardy after The Sun newspaper in the UK published video footage purporting to show him engaged in a street brawl.
Test vice-captain Stokes was included in England's 16-man squad for the Ashes tour announced earlier Wednesday despite damaging his hand in the incident that led to his arrest in Bristol on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.
The 26-year-old was released without charge on Monday, but remains under investigation.
In the video obtained by The Sun, with photos splashed on the front page under the headline 'Hit for Six', a man who has been alleged to be Stokes is fighting with two men.
The newspaper report quoted a witness who said Stokes at one point threw "15 punches in one minute".
An England and Wales Cricket Board spokesperson said: "We have seen this footage for the first time tonight – when posted by The Sun.
"There is an ongoing police investigation, which will look at all available evidence, and we do have to respect that process."
Soeaking before the footage came to light but after the incident occurred, former England captain Michael Vaughan said Stokes' absence from England's Ashes party could spell disaster for Joe Root's team.
"He is the key link to the England team. He's the engine room out in the middle, he produces magic with the ball, with the bat, in the field," Vaughan told Optus Sport.
"If anything over the next few months stops him from going to Australia, I have to say that I don't give England much of a chance of winning the Ashes.
"It's a situation that England have to try and deal with as quick as they possibly can.
"He's not in the good books, what he's done is completely unprofessional. You may say he was goaded into doing what he did but he was out at 2.30 in the morning in Bristol on a Sunday night.
"He's such a superstar now he can't put himself into those positions. He's that kind of character, he likes life, he likes going out and I'm certainly not one to say 'stop doing that' because I like those kind of characters.
"But with his superstar status I think he has to choose exactly where he goes, who he goes out with and unfortunately he might have to have one or two people with him stopping him doing one or two things.
"He certainly can't be missing for England to have any chance of winning in Australia."
2017-18 International Fixtures:
Magellan Ashes Series
First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets
Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets
Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets
Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets
Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets
ODI Series v England
First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets
Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets
T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets
Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets
Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets
Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 13
Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21