Sports

Ben Stokes escapes ban, fined after Bristol nightclub altercation

England all-rounder Ben Stokes and batsman Alex Hales have been fined by the England and Wales Cricket Board following last year's brawl outside a Bristol bar.

Key points:

  • Ben Stokes was charged with affray after an altercation outside a Bristol bar in 2017
  • The ECB charged Stokes and Alex Hales with bringing the game into disrepute
  • Both players are available for selection for January's tour to the Caribbean

Stokes pleaded guilty to two charges brought against him, one of bringing the game into disrepute in relation to the altercation and a second for an inappropriate video, in which he performed an impression of glamour model Katie Price's son, who has a disability.

The 27-year-old, who was cleared in court of affray last August, was also handed an eight-month suspension.

However, as he was banned for the Ashes in Australia last year and the subsequent one-day series, he is free to play against the West Indies in January.

Stokes has already made his Test return for England, playing in the third Test against India in August just 10 days after being cleared of affray.

Composite of Ben Stokes and CCTV footage

Stokes was also fined £30,000 ($53,000) and warned about his future conduct.

He has vowed to never allow himself to be drawn into a similar situation in the future.

"The criminal charges and, subsequently, the disciplinary charges have made it difficult to make public comment about the issues," Stokes said in a statement.

"I have already apologised to my teammates, coaches and support staff for the consequences of my actions in Bristol.

"I regret that the incident ever happened and I apologise to England supporters and to the public for bringing the game into disrepute. I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me through this process.

"Cricket and family are my life.

"This incident has been a huge burden for the last 15 months. I am relieved to get back to playing the game that I love without this hanging over me.

"Although the disciplinary process is now over, I have learned lessons that will stay with me for much longer."

England's Alex Hales looks on during an ODI

Hales, 29, was also charged with circulating "inappropriate images".

He was fined $30,000 with $17,000 suspended, and a six-match ban with four suspended.

That also means Hales will also be free to play in the Caribbean in the new year after also missing matches in Australia 12 months ago.

"There is no doubt I fell below the high standards expected of an international sportsman and that was the reason for my decision to admit the charges and accept the punishment handed down," Hales posted on Twitter.

"I sincerely apologise for putting myself in a position which allowed these very regrettable incidents to happen."

AAP/ABC

Original Article