Ben Stokes and Alex Hales fined but free to play for England

CCTV footage shows Ben Stokes moments before nightclub brawl

CCTV footage shows Ben Stokes moments before nightclub brawl

England cricketers Ben Stokes and Alex Hales have been fined but will not miss any more matches following their involvement in an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September previous year.

Former Derbyshire batsman Tim O'Gorman - now a respected lawyer and the panel chairman - former Gloucestershire seamer Mike Smith, an employment lawyer, and judge Chris Tickle, a long-serving Warwickshire committee member, make up the Cricket Disciplinary Commission panel and have the power to ban, fine or reprimand the pair. The secondary charge related to inappropriate images, of which he was also found guilty.

England take on West Indies in three tests, five one-day internationals and three T20 internationals from January to March.

Stokes had been accused of knocking out Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale in a brawl in Bristol, southwest England, just hours after he had played in a one-day global against the West Indies in September past year.

Stokes returned to action during the New Zealand tour but was forced to miss the second Specsavers Test against India at Lord's earlier this summer due to a clash with his trial. The Durham player released a statement after the announcement in which he apologised to fans.

Stokes and Hales both took to Twitter to issue a public apology.

But he has still been charged with bringing the game into disrepute by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

"Cricket and family are my life", the 27-year-old Stokes said in a statement on the ECB's website on Friday. I am relieved to get back to playing the game that I love without this hanging over me.

From a cricketing perspective, it can be argued Hales has suffered more greatly than Stokes.

In missing the final two matches of that series, Hales allowed Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow to forge a successful partnership at the top of the order and has since had to contend with filling in when either has been unavailable, or plugging gaps that have arisen lower down the batting line-up. "I had entered guilty pleas to bringing the game into disrepute much earlier in the process and I want to thank the panel for their time and consideration now that the hearing has ended".

"I was hoping they wouldn't just be lenient and brush it under the carpet because what you want is for the message from the European Central Bank - not only to this generation of cricketers in that dressing room - you have to set that bar and set the standard".

Hales, meanwhile, said he was "relieved" the disciplinary process had been concluded.

"There is no doubt I fell below the high standards of an global sportsman and that was the reason for my decision to admit the charges", Hales said in a statement. "They will now be available to play for England, with the same support as all of our players", Tom Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of the European Central Bank said in a media statement.

"Each pleaded guilty, admitted their charges and has accepted their sanctions". "Today is a very strong reminder of the values that sit at the heart of our game and the standards that should always be expected", he said. "They will now be available to play for England, with the same support as all of our players".

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