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Bristol brawl case: Stokes, Hales handed backdated bans by ECB

Bristol brawl case: Stokes, Hales handed backdated bans by ECB

London, Dec 7: England cricketers Ben Stokes and Alex Hales have been handed backdated bans following their involvement in an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2017.

Stokes was given an eight-match ban but has already served all of those, while the remaining four matches of Hales' six-match white-ball ban are suspended for 12 months.

All-rounder Stokes has also been fined £30,000, with Hales given a £17,500 penalty, £10,000 of which is suspended.

Alex Hales

In respect of the first charge, relating to the incident in Bristol, the Panel imposes a suspension from playing for England for four white-ball matches. It is accepted that Mr Hales has already missed two of these matches.

The remaining two matches will be suspended for a period of 12 months from the date of the hearing.

The Panel also imposes a fine of £7,500, of which £4,500 is suspended for a period of 12 months from the date of the hearing.

If Hales commits any further serious breach of cricketing regulations within that 12-month period then at the discretion of the CDC the suspended elements of this penalty will be imposed.

In respect of the second charge, relating to inappropriate images, the Panel imposes a suspension of playing for England for two white-ball matches. This penalty is suspended for 12 months from the date of the hearing.

The Panel also imposes a fine of £10,000, of which £5,500 is suspended for a period of 12 months from the date of the hearing.

As a condition of the suspension of elements of this penalty Hales must undertake, at his own cost and within three months, appropriate training, as agreed and approved by the ECB. If he does not do so, or if he commits any further serious breach of cricketing regulations within that 12-month period then at the discretion of the CDC the suspended elements of this penalty will be imposed.

These penalties will apply cumulatively. Therefore, in total Hales receives a six-match ban from England white-ball matches, of which two matches have already been missed and four remain suspended. He, therefore, remains eligible for immediate selection. Hales is fined a total of £17,500, of which £10,000 is suspended.

The Panel makes no order as to costs. Each party will bear their own costs.

Ben Stokes

In respect of the first charge, relating to the incident in Bristol, the Panel imposes a ban from playing for England for six matches. It is accepted that Stokes has already missed these matches. In respect of the second charge, relating to the inappropriate video, the Panel imposes a ban of playing for England for two matches. It is accepted that Stokes has already missed these matches.

The Panel also imposes a fine of £15,000, which should be paid to a suitable charity or charities.

These penalties apply cumulatively. Therefore, in total Stokes receives an eight-match ban from England matches. He has already missed these matches and therefore remains eligible for immediate selection. Stokes is fined a total of £30,000.

The Panel makes no order as to costs. Each party will bear their own costs.

In reaching these decisions the Disciplinary Panel took into account the complex circumstances surrounding these events including the considerable legal expenses already incurred by both players.

ECB Statement:

Tom Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of the ECB, said: "We accept the decisions made by the Cricket Discipline Commission and the sanctions they have given to Alex Hales and Ben Stokes.

"Each pleaded guilty, admitted their charges and has accepted their sanctions.

"They will now be available to play for England, with the same support as all of our players.

"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."

Statement from Ben Stokes:

"Everyone will now be aware that the CDC disciplinary proceedings have now concluded and I accept the decision of the Panel. I had entered guilty pleas to bringing the game in to disrepute much earlier in the process and I want to thank the panel for their time and consideration now that the hearing has ended.

"The criminal charges and, subsequently, the disciplinary charges have made it difficult to make public comment about the issues. I have already apologised to my team mates, coaches and support staff for the consequences of my actions in Bristol. I regret the incident ever happened and I apologise to England supporters and to the public for bringing the game in to disrepute. I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout 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."

Statement from Alex Hales:

"I am relieved today's decision by the CDC means this chapter is now closed and I can move on with my career.

"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.

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

"Now all I want to do is concentrate on cricket. I'd like to thank everybody at Nottinghamshire for their support and I am delighted to have committed to helping out in several of the club's community schemes.

"I would also like to thank the Professional Cricketers' Association and the Team England Player Partnership who have offered a huge amount of support over the last 15 months.

"The next year is obviously an important one for England. I would love to be part of a squad that wins the World Cup in front of our own fans and I will be doing everything in my power to make that dream come true."

Statement from David Leatherdale:

"The PCA and both players fully accept the sanctions against them and it has been a fair hearing through the Cricket Discipline Commission. Both players are now keen to move on and continue their England careers.

"The PCA has remained in full support of Alex and Ben throughout this entire process and we have offered necessary advice for both players."

(ECB Release)

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    Story first published: Friday, December 7, 2018, 23:40 [IST]
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