Ben Stokes' and Alex Hales' hearings with the Cricket Discipline Commission panel is underway, after being charged with bringing the game into disrepute. Ben Stokes and Alex Hales facing Cricket Discipline Commission panel
Both players have been charged with two counts of breaching ECB Directive 3.3 following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2017.
ECB Directive 3.3 states: "No Participant
Ben Stokes and Alex Hales facing Cricket Discipline Commission panel
may conduct them self in a manner or do any act or omission at any time which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the ECB, the game of cricket or any Cricketer or group of Cricketers into disrepute."
Stokes was found not guilty of affray following a trial at Bristol Crown Court but he and Hales must now face a CDC disciplinary panel.
The CDC, which is funded by the ECB but operates independently, has the power to issue a range of punishments, varying from a warning to the termination of a contract.
The private hearings is taking place over two days - December 5 and 7 - in London.
Hales faced no criminal charge but it was established during the court case that he kicked Ali during the melee and misled a police officer at the time of Stokes’s 2.35am arrest by claiming to have not been present. The 29-year-old is expected to argue the kick was caused by panic and in response to a bottle being wielded; attempts to calm the situation later on in the fracas also go in his favour.
While there is one last hurdle to cross this week, a drawn-out affair for both the players and the ECB is approaching a resolution. Ed Smith, the national selector, who is due to pick the Test squad for January’s tour to the Caribbean on Monday, will doubtless also welcome some clarity as regards the availability of the pair, with attention turning to the next summer’s World Cup and Ashes.