Alex Hales is set to make his return to cricket later this month, after it was confirmed that he is no longer a suspect in relation to the incident in Bristol in September that led to the arrest of his team-mate, Ben Stokes.
Hales had been present in Mbargo nightclub on the morning of September 25, in the aftermath of England’s ODI victory over West Indies, when Stokes was arrested following an altercation in which he appeared to swing punches at two men.
The pair were made unavailable for selection for the remaining two games of that series, with Hales returning to Bristol voluntarily to help Avon and Somerset Police with their enquiries.
Stokes, who had initially been named as England’s vice-captain for the Ashes before being withdrawn from the squad, recently made his comeback to cricket, after flying to New Zealand to play for Canterbury in the 50-over Ford Trophy.
Hales has yet to play since the incident. However, the ECB has approved a formal request for a ‘No Objection Certificate’ [NOC] to allow him to play in the inaugural T10 Cricket League in Dubai from December 21-24.
The ECB Board convened via conference call to make the decision after being informed that Hales is deemed a witness and will face no charges.
It remains possible that Hales could be named in England’s ODI and T20 squads to face New Zealand and Australia in the New Year.
However, the independent Cricket Discipline Commission [CDC] has stayed the internal disciplinary process for both Hales and Stokes until the conclusion of any potential criminal proceedings relating to the incident.
Players, England Selectors and the England management team have all been informed.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo