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Ben Stokes remains England cricket’s vice-captain for Ashes 2017-18 despite arrest

Ben Stokes, who was arrested for a pub brawl earlier this week, has been retained as England cricket team’s vice-captain for Ashes 2017-18 against Australia, starting in November.

cricket Updated: Sep 27, 2017 18:08 IST
Ben Stokes,England Cricket Team,The Ashes
Ben Stokes, who was arrested for a pub brawl earlier this week, has been retained as England cricket team’s vice-captain for Ashes 2017-18. (AP)

Ben Stokes has been retained as England cricket’s vice-captain for the Ashes tour to Australia after being arrested earlier in the week for an altercation outside a nightclub.

Stokes, England’s highest-profile cricketer, was held on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm in the early hours of Monday and released under investigation.

(Read | Ben Stokes needs ‘lifestyle change’: Ex-England cricket captain Michael Vaughan)

Meanwhile, James Vince and Gary Ballance have been included in at the expense of Tom Westley, while Craig Overton is among three uncapped players who will travel to Australia.

Westley paid the price for failing to cement his spot at number three in an unsettled batting line-up during the series wins over South Africa and West Indies.

(Read | Ben Stokes must look up to Ricky Ponting for inspiration: Michael Atherton)

Vince also failed to prove his Test credentials in seven matches last year and has not played for his country since facing Pakistan 13 months ago, but will travel Down Under along with the recalled Ballance.

National selector James Whitaker said in a statement: “The selectors are backing James Vince to make an impact on his recall to the Test squad.

“He is a quality strokeplayer and we believe his game will suit the Australian pitches.

(Read | Ben Stokes: Eight times England cricket’s bad boy attracted controversy)

“His understanding of the England set-up will help him settle into the environment quickly and hit the ground running when we arrive in Perth next month.”

Mark Wood and Toby Roland-Jones miss out due to injury, so Craig Overton gets his chance. Leg-spinner Mason Crane and reserve wicketkeeper Ben Foakes are the other two uncapped players to get the nod.

England will be desperate to exact revenge for the 5-0 drubbing they suffered in Australia in 2013-14, even though they wrested the Ashes back on home soil in 2015.

England will head to Australia early this winter, with their first warm-up game starting November 4.

The first Ashes Test takes place in Brisbane from November 23, with further matches to follow in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

The Adelaide Oval will host the first day/night Ashes Test from December 2-6.

England will then play five ODIs against Australia in January.

The Ashes will be one of the biggest challenges for Joe Root, who has started his captaincy career with series wins against South Africa and West Indies.

Full Squad: Joe Root (captain), Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Dawid Malan, Gary Ballance, James Vince, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Ben Foakes (wicketkeeper), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jake Ball, Mason Crane, Craig Overton.

First Published: Sep 27, 2017 14:50 IST