MX23RW : Wednesday, December 12 01:03:57

Stokes sorry after accepting CDC sanctions for Bristol incident

Stokes sorry after accepting CDC sanctions for Bristol incident
© Reuters
England all-round and team-mate Alex Hales have faced the panel this week.

Ben Stokes and Alex Hales remain eligible for England selection following the outcome of a disciplinary hearing into their roles in a fight outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017.

All-rounder Stokes, who was cleared of affray in August, was handed an eight-match England ban by the Cricket Discipline Commission Disciplinary Panel but those games are deemed to have been served.

Hales, who did not face criminal charges, was given a six-match white-ball ban with two already served and four suspended.

Stokes, 27, was fined a total of £30,000, while Hales, 29, was fined £17,500, £10,000 of which is suspended.

After the verdicts were announced, Durham man Stokes apologised for the incident, accepting the verdict and said he had learned lessons from it, pleading guilty at the hearing.

"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, he said in a statement.

"I regret the incident ever happened and I apologise to England supporters and to the public for bringing the game into disrepute.

Stokes was found not guilty earlier this year
Stokes was found not guilty earlier this year (Andrew Matthews/PA)

"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."

Stokes was arrested in the early hours of September 25 last year, midway through England's one-day international series with the West Indies, and then charged with affray in January.

Hales was with Stokes at the time of the incident in Bristol, in which a 27-year-old man suffered a fractured eye socket.

Both men were charged with two counts of bringing the game into disrepute.

As well as the nightclub incident, Stokes answered a charge in relation to an "inappropriate video" on social media, while Hales was charged in relation to "inappropriate images".

"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," Hales posted on Twitter.

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

The pair missed the final two ODIs against the Windies, with Stokes also absent for last winter's tour of Australia, including the Ashes, due to the police investigation that was ongoing at the time.

Stokes returned to action during the New Zealand tour but was forced to miss the second Specsavers Test against India at Lord's earlier this summer due to a clash with his trial.

Stokes made a successful return to England action this summer
Stokes made a successful return to England action this summer (Adam Davy/PA)

He denied a charge of affray and was cleared at Bristol Crown Court in August.

David Leatherdale, chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association, said in a statement: "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."


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