Ben Duckett has been provisionally suspended and is facing a disciplinary hearing over an incident in a Perth bar, the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced.
Duckett, a member of the Lions squad which met up with the full Test players preparing for the third Test at the WACA, was due to open the innings on day one of the tour match against a Cricket Australia XI.
He was an unexpected absentee, however – and while play was under way at Richardson Park on Saturday, it was confirmed by the England camp that the 23-year-old has been provisionally suspended as he awaits the outcome of his hearing.
It is understood the issue arose between Thursday night and Friday morning, the first evening after England and Wales Cricket Board director Andrew Strauss agreed to a relaxing of a midnight curfew which was imposed two weeks ago.
That measure was taken in response to reports of Jonny Bairstow’s ‘headbutt’ greeting for Cameron Bancroft – a playful prank from the Yorkshireman, also in a Perth bar on the first night of England’s tour back in October.
It was an unfortunate gesture which came back to haunt England and their wicketkeeper, prompting Strauss to take action immediately after the first of two Test defeats so far which have left the tourists 2-0 down to Australia with three to play.
On the first night out after England’s Test players returned to Perth, Duckett was out with some of them and his Lions colleagues – although it is not clear as yet whether any other members of either touring squad will face a disciplinary procedure.
Duckett is likely to discover the outcome of his hearing within 24 hours.
It is understood there was no police involvement in the incident, which also did not affect any members of the public.