Ben Stokes named in England squad for Ashes tour despite arrest and finger fracture

Ben Stokes will be on the plane to AustraliaGLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

Batsmen Gary Ballance and James Vince have both been recalled to the England squad for the 2017-18 Ashes tour of Australia, with uncapped trio Craig Overton, Mason Crane and Ben Foakes also included.

Essex's Tom Westley is the main casualty of the 16-man travelling party named by the ECB on Wednesday (27 September), although Ben Stokes makes the cut as expected despite director of cricket Andrew Strauss confirming that the Durham all-rounder is recovering from a minor finger fracture on his right hand.

Stokes was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub and was held overnight before being released under investigation without charge.

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He was subsequently ruled out of England's fourth ODI clash with West Indies at The Oval along with Alex Hales, who voluntarily returned to Bristol to help police with their enquiries.

Stokes will keep his role as Joe Root's Test vice-captain "pending any disciplinary procedures".

National selector James Whitaker said: "A tour of Australia is the ultimate test for our squad. We have provided Joe Root and 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."

Ballance returns to the fold for the first time since fracturing his left index finger during England's heavy 340-run defeat to South Africa in July. He will be expected to compete with Dawid Malan for a spot at five, while Vince looks set to bat at number three despite averaging just 19.27 in his previous seven Test appearances.

With Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones suffering a stress fracture in his lower back, Overton, who has previously been involved in England's Twenty20 squad, earns his maiden Test call-up after taking 43 Championship wickets for Somerset this season.

Surrey wicket-keeper Foakes is chosen ahead of Jos Buttler and Sam Billings as back-up to Jonny Bairstow and Hampshire leggie Crane beats off competition from the likes of Adil Rashid and Jack Leach to be named as deputy to chief spinner Moeen Ali.

Nottinghamshire fast bowler Jake Ball joins James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes in the pace attack at the expense of Mark Wood, who has been suffering from an ankle injury of late.

There is no room for Liam Plunkett, Steven Finn, Keaton Jennings or Haseeb Hameed, while Mark Stoneman retains his place as Alastair Cook's opening partner. England further announced that they have appointed former New Zealand international Shane Bond as a fast bowling consultant. Ex-ODI skipper Paul Collingwood also joins the coaching staff.

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Holders England, who bounced back from a harrowing whitewash down under to reclaim the famous urn with a 3-2 series win on home soil back in the summer of 2015, are due to travel to Australia next month before warm-up matches in Perth, Adelaide and Townsville.

Gary Ballance has been recalled to the England squad for the Ashes tour of AustraliaANTHONY DEVLIN/AFP/Getty Images

The first Test begins at the Gabba in Brisbane on 23 November. The second clash, which commences at the Adelaide Oval on 2 December, is set to be the first ever day-night Ashes affair. England will play one more tour fixture after the fifth Test in Sydney before facing Australia again in a five-match ODI series.

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