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Hales will not face police charge and is available for selection

Alex Hales

Alex Hales has not played Test cricket since August 2016

England batsman Alex Hales will not face criminal charges over an incident outside a nightclub in Bristol in September and is available for selection, the England and Wales Cricket Board says.

He had been with all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

Hales, 28, was not arrested but was interviewed under caution by police and was not considered for selection.

He could still be punished by the ECB.

The ECB’s internal disciplinary process is on hold until any criminal proceedings against Stokes are concluded.

“Alex Hales will now be considered for England selection,” the ECB said in a statement.

Hales is a one-day and T20 specialist, who last played Test cricket in August 2016 and could return for the limited-overs leg of England’s tour of Australia.

England will play a five-game one-day series against Australia in January, before a triangular Twenty20 series against New Zealand and Australia in February.

The ECB has also allowed Hales to play in the inaugural T20 Cricket League in Dubai from 21 to 24 December.

What happened in Bristol?

Stokes was arrested after a night out that followed England’s victory over West Indies in the third one-day international.

Video footage emerged which allegedly showed him in a brawl in the early hours of the morning.

A man suffered a fractured eye socket in the incident on 25 September.

In the aftermath, Hales, who voluntarily helped police with their inquiries, was left out of the fourth ODI along with Stokes.

The ECB then announced Stokes and Hales would not be considered for selection until further notice.

On 29 November, Avon and Somerset Police said it had completed its investigation and sent the findings to the Crown Prosecution Service to decide if Stokes would be charged.

With a decision not to be made for several weeks, Stokes seems unlikely to play in England’s current Ashes series in Australia.

However, he can play domestic cricket in any country and signed for Canterbury last week after travelling to New Zealand to visit his family.

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