England's chances in this year's Ashes series in Australia may hang in the balance as the ECB deliberate over the future of one of England's star cricketers Ben Stokes.
English cricket's highest governing body the ECB is reportedly yet to make a decision over the inclusion of Stokes for the upcoming Ashes series in Australia, according to Sky Sports News.
This comes after the English all-rounder was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm after a night out in Bristol on September 25.
The news comes after Avon and Somerset Police released a statement suggesting that there may not be any significant developments in their enquiries for the next two to three weeks - severely casting doubt over Stokes' inclusion in the Ashes squad.
The news could not have come at a worse time for the all-rounder, with many former players and now pundits, such as Michael Vaughan, calling for him to at least be stripped of his vice-captaincy.
Having already stated that both Hales and Stokes would 'not be considered for selection until further notice', the ECB will now have to wait for any future developments from the police before their own Cricketing Disciplinary Commission, headed by Tim O'Gorman, can decide whether or not to include one of England's most influential players.
Having previously stated that both he and fellow England international Alex Hales would not be considered for selection, this might suggest that the ECB are looking to include Stokes if given the chance - should the police finish their enquiries.
However, given the fact the fact that the England team are setting out in just over three weeks for their tour of Australia, surely this news has now confirmed Ben Stokes' absence from the touring side.
England fans will surely be hoping that this does not distract the England team from the upcoming matches - particularly after the English squad was described as 'underwhelming' by Australian cricket commentator Jim Maxwell.
Without one of their star players, this news may be the final nail in the coffin for an under-equipped England team looking to provide the first success in Australia since the 2010-11 Ashes series.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms