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England call up replacement for Ben Stokes in the Ashes squad

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Ben Stokes will not immediately travel to Australia for the upcoming Ashes tour, with Steven Finn being called up as a replacement, the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced.

The move comes in the fallout of Stokes' highly publicised arrest last week on suspicion of actual bodily harm.

There was much speculation around the vice-captain's place in the team in the aftermath of the arrest, and the ECB have confirmed that Stokes will stay behind in the UK, for the moment at least. 

It has been stressed that this is very much a temporary decision that has no bearing on any beliefs on part of the selection committee or the ECB over the ongoing police investigation.

"We have spoken to Ben and assured him that our decision in no way prejudges the outcome of the ongoing police investigation or cricket discipline commission process, as can be seen by the award of central contracts," said Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss, as per BBC Sport.

Stokes has indeed been handed a central contract, making him one of only eight players to have been granted one.

Despite being called up to the Test squad, Steven Finn is one of those to lose his central contract.

The pace bowler will travel in place of Stokes on October 28th.

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"Steven is a high-quality cricketer, with considerable experience of both international cricket and Australian conditions," said Strauss, "The selectors believe he will add to the range of options and the squad will be further supported by the arrival of the Lions in Australia in November."

With so few players being awarded central contracts, Strauss also spoke on the thinking of the ECB in regards to both central and incremental contracts.

Middlesex v Surrey - Specsavers County Championship: Division One

"With the Ashes just around the corner, it's important to give the players, the coaching staff and supporters some clarity around a complex situation," he added.

"This decision will help us in the weeks ahead and gives every player and the whole England set-up the best chance to focus on the challenge ahead in Australia."

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Topics:
Cricket
The Ashes
Steven Finn
Joe Root
Australia cricket
England cricket

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