Club incident rules Ben Stokes and Alex Hales out of ODI

Ben Stokes' arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm has put England's '¨Royal London Series plans in disarray.

England all-rounder and Test vice-captain Ben Stokes will not play in the ODI at The Oval. Picture: Michael Steele/Getty

Key all-rounder Stokes and opener Alex Hales, who voluntarily returned to Bristol to provide evidence on the disorder in which a man suffered facial injuries, both missed practice at The Oval and will be unavailable as England bid for a 3-0 lead in the fourth match of five against West Indies today.

England and Wales Cricket Board director Andrew Strauss also drove to speak to Stokes in Bristol where the Test vice-captain was released under investigation – without charge – on Monday evening.

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England will also hold their own investigations into what happened when the 26-year-old found trouble in the early hours of Monday morning, having helped England go 2-0 up in the series against the Windies in Bristol the previous day.

A statement from Avon and Somerset police read: “We were called to a disorder in Queens Road, Clifton, at around 2:35am on Monday. A 27-year-old man was found to have suffered facial injuries and was taken to the Bristol Royal Infirmary for treatment.

“A 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and has since been released under investigation.”

The ECB released a statement explaining Hales’ and Stokes’ absence from nets.

It read: “Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be available for tomorrow’s one-day international match against West Indies at The Oval.

“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 inquiries.”

Morgan acknowledges England must regroup as they try to close out series victory.

“It is a big blow,” he said. “It has been a distraction over the last day or so, but these things happen.

“Certainly losing a guy like Ben Stokes is a big one.”

Jason Roy is sure to replace Hales at the top of the order, while Jake Ball and the uncapped Tom Curran – on his home ground – are the understudies for Stokes. England have also announced Sam Billings is being drafted into the squad as cover.

“We feel we have a strong enough squad ... to be able to fill that hole,” added Morgan.

“So we hope this doesn’t affect us too much. It’s important we can put it to one side and focus on our cricket.

“We have three guys sitting on the sidelines, with huge potential.

“Jason Roy will definitely come into that side on his home ground... and we will be looking at others coming into the squad, potentially for tomorrow, as cover.”

Stokes is no stranger to controversy in his career so far.

In a press interview published only last weekend, he stressed he would never resort to violence on the pitch - and that he does allow himself a beer or two at close of play, even on England duty.

“There’s adrenaline there, but I’d never get close to punching someone,” he said.

As for what happens after dark, he added: “We’re grown men, go out for dinner, have a few pints.

“I’m 26, not 14. I don’t have to drink Diet Cokes with dinner,” added Stokes.