Ben Stokes has been named in the England Ashes Test squad despite his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm. The 26-year-old all-rounder remains under investigation after being released without charge following an incident in Bristol early on Monday morning.
But Stokes has been included in a 16-man squad which is scheduled to head to Australia on October 28.
Surrey wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, 24, has been included for the first time as well as 23-year-old Somerset fast bowler Craig Overton.
A third uncapped player, 20-year-old Hampshire leg-spinner Mason Crane, is selected as one of two specialist spinners alongside Moeen Ali.
Batsmen James Vince and Gary Ballance are recalled despite their previous unconvincing performances in England’s fragile middle order.
Hampshire’s Vince returns to the squad for the first time since last August and Ballance, of Yorkshire, is back after suffering a fractured finger in the second Test against South Africa in July.
There are no places for batsmen Tom Westley and Alex Hales and bowlers Mark Wood and Toby Roland-Jones.
Following the incident in Bristol Stokes was left out of the England side to face West Indies on Wednesday in the fourth one-day international at The Oval, where the Ashes squad was announced.
However, the ECB confirmed he has retained the vice-captaincy.
England selector James Whitaker said: “A tour of Australia is the ultimate test for our squad. We have provided (captain) Joe Root and (coach) Trevor Bayliss with a well-balanced squad with options in all areas.
“After a successful summer, having won the Test series against South Africa and West Indies, there is real competition for places and we have selected a squad that will work hard and compete against Australia, aiming to win the Ashes.
“Surrey’s Ben Foakes deserves his selection for the first time at this level. His glovework has been exemplary and he is regarded as a wicketkeeper of the highest quality. He has the ability to contribute with the bat scoring over 680 runs in the Championship this summer at an average of 45.33.
“Craig Overton has been involved in the England set-up this summer with the Lions and the T20 squad.
“He will now get his chance at Test level. We have been impressed with the way he has led Somerset’s attack over a long period of time. He has taken 43 Championship wickets this summer and will relish playing in Australian conditions.
“The selectors are backing James Vince to make an impact on his recall to the Test squad. He is a quality strokeplayer and we believe his game will suit the Australian pitches.
“His understanding of the England set-up will help him settle into the environment quickly and hit the ground running when we arrive in Perth next month.”
The ECB also announced that former New Zealand bowler Shane Bond has been appointed fast-bowling consultant.
England have a vacancy for a bowling coach after Ottis Gibson left to become the new head coach of South Africa and Bond, 42, will be part of the management team until the end of second Test.
Former England one-day captain Paul Collingwood will also take a coaching role, and Kent head coach Matt Walker will be on hand for the T20 Tri-Series in Australia and New Zealand.
England are the current holders of the Ashes, having beaten Australia 3-2 on home soil in 2015.
They have won five of the last seven series, but lost heavily the last time they toured Australia in 2013/14.
England’s 16-man squad for the Ashes series in Australia: Joe Root, captain (Yorkshire), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Alastair Cook (Essex), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dawid Malan (Middlesex), Craig Overton (Somerset), Ben Stokes (Durham), Mark Stoneman (Surrey), James Vince (Hampshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).
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vibehubs.com | credit:talksport.com |England Ashes squad: Ben Stokes selected despite arrest, while James Vince included in 16-man touring party.