Banned England all-rounder Ben Stokes’s fate has moved a step closer to being resolved after police said they had completed an investigation into his involvement in a fight outside a Bristol nightclub in September.
Details of the investigation, which saw Stokes suspended by England and axed from their squad for the current Ashes series in Australia, have been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on whether a charge of actual bodily harm should be brought.
Avon and Somerset Police said: “Today (29/11) we have passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service and are now seeking charging advice.”
The 26-year-old this week flew to New Zealand where he is expected to sign a short-term deal with Canterbury to play domestic cricket.
The move has fuelled speculation that he could be drafted back in to England’s squad as they seek to retain the Ashes.
England cricket chiefs have insisted that there are no plans to add Test vice-captain Stokes to the team.
Here's an update on our investigation into a disorder on Queens Road, Bristol on 25 September. pic.twitter.com/FXPt4xR3D4— Avon&Somerset Police (@ASPolice) November 29, 2017
Fast bowler Chris Woakes, however, said he and colleagues would welcome Stokes’s return. “We’d have him here with open arms.
Ben’s a world-class cricketer and he’d make any team in the world better,” Woakes said.
England face Australia in the second Test on Saturday, having lost the opener by 10 wickets in Brisbane on Monday.
The Stokes saga represents another possible distraction after England chiefs were forced to play down claims that wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow headbutted Australia opener Cameron Bancroft.