England all-rounder Ben Stokes will be forced to withdraw from the winter Ashes tour of Australia if he remains under police inquiry when the tour begins.
The police have warned that such cases can take months to be resolved and haven’t placed a timescale on the investigation.
Stokes, 26, was arrested on suspicion of committing actual bodily harm after an incident in Bristol on September 25.
The incident took place outside Bristol nightclub Mbargo around 02:35 BST, and it left a 27-year-old man requiring hospital treatment for facial injuries.
That very day, England had beaten the West Indies by 124 runs in a commanding one-day international. Stokes himself had scored 73 runs.
England fly out on October 28 with the first Test starting on November 23.
If the investigation finishes before the squad leaves for Australia, the ECB will make an assessment whether Stokes retains his place in the squad or is dropped for the tour.
ECB made an initial investigation of the incident following the publication of the footage.
The clip, published by The Sun, allegedly shows the England international throwing punches at two men.
The cricket board concluded that Stokes and teammate Alex Hales, who was with Stokes during the incident, would not be selected “until further notice”.
Stokes was named in 16-man Ashes squad, but 28-year old Alex Hales, was not.
England’s first warm-up match is on November 4 in Perth before the opening Test in Brisbane three weeks later.
The Ashes will conclude in Sydney in the New Year, whilst the tour finishes with the fifth one-day international in Perth on January 28.
England will be hoping to avoid a repeat of their previous Ashes tour of Australia, where they were whitewashed 5-0 in 2013-14.
England are the defending champions, however, having regained the title in 2015 with a 3-2 scoreline.
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