Ben Stokes
It remains to be seen if Ben Stokes will play any part in the forthcoming Ashes series in AustraliaJan Kruger/Getty Images

Controversial England cricketer Ben Stokes will not accompany his teammates to Australia later this month as things stand, although a final decision on his involvement in the Ashes series has yet to be taken.

Stokes was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm in September after a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub. He was held overnight before being released. He is still waiting to learn if he will be charged as Avon and Somerset Police continue their investigations.

The Durham all-rounder and Nottinghamshire opener Alex Hales were later suspended indefinitely by England pending an internal disciplinary procedure that was referred to the Cricket Discipline Commission.

Hales was not arrested but was present at the time of the incident and has since been interviewed under caution.

Stokes, who for now retains his role as Test vice-captain, was still named in England's Ashes squad despite that arrest and a fractured bone in his right hand.

England are due to depart for Australia on 28 October, with the first of five Ashes Tests scheduled to get underway in Brisbane on 23 November. The tourists will face Western Australia and a Cricket Australia XI before that opening clash at the Gabba.

In an update released on Friday that led on Middlesex seamer Steven Finn's addition to the travelling group, the ECB said: "England Selectors have added Steven Finn to the squad for the Ashes Tests, in light of the ongoing investigation by Avon & Somerset Police, the Cricket Discipline Commission process and all other considerations.

"Finn will travel to Australia with the England Test team for the full five-match Ashes series, leaving on Saturday 28 October. Ben Stokes will not travel at this stage, though no final decision has been taken on his involvement in Australia."

Central contracts/ODI disciplinary investigation

The ECB further confirmed that Stokes was one of only eight players to receive a central Test contract, with Hales, who has not featured at Test level since August 2016, handed a renewed limited-overs contract. Injured bowler Toby Roland-Jones has been awarded his first incremental contract, while Jake Ball has his maiden white-ball contract.

"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," said England director of cricket Andrew Strauss. "This decision will help us in the weeks ahead and give every player and the whole England set-up the best chance to focus on the challenge ahead in Australia.

"Steven [Finn] is a high-quality cricketer, with considerable experience of both international cricket and Australian conditions. 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.

"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. On these, I would like to congratulate all of those who have received England contracts for 2017/18, ahead of a busy year of International cricket."

It was also announced that Jonny Bairstow, Ball and Liam Plunkett had all accepted written warnings and fines for unprofessional conduct following Strauss' recent internal disciplinary investigation into behaviour within the ODI squad, conducted during the 4-0 series defeat of West Indies. That situation is said to be unrelated to the investigations into Stokes and Hales.