Ben Stokes and Alex Hales were fined by the England and Wales Cricket Board on Friday for their involvement in a nightclub altercation. The cricketers appeared before a two-day disciplinary hearing and were charged with bringing the game into disrepute following the September 2017 incident in Bristol.
“Both players were charged with two breaches of ECB Directive 3.3. Both players admitted each charge. The Panel held a separate hearing for each player and considered each charge individually,” ECB said in a statement.
Stokes was handed an eight-match ban and fined a total of £30,000. He had already missed five Tests and 11 white-ball internationals since the trial began.
In a statement released on the ECB website, Stokes apologized to England supporters for bringing the game into disrepute.
“Cricket and family are my life. This incident has been a huge burden for the last 15 months. I am relieved to get back to playing the game that I love without this hanging over me. Although the disciplinary process is now over, I have learned lessons that will stay with me for much longer,” he said.
Batsman Hales, who was not involved in the fight, received a six-match ban and was fined a total of £17,500, of which £10,000 is suspended.
Accepting the punishment, Hales said, “There is no doubt I fell below the high standards expected of an international sportsman and that was the reason for my decision to admit the charges and accept the punishment handed down. More than anything, I sincerely apologize for putting myself in a position which allowed these very regrettable incidents to happen.”
Both Stokes and Hales are, however, cleared to play for England in the upcoming West Indies series.
Stokes, the 27-year-old all-rounder reportedly stayed out too late and was drunk through an ODI series in September 2017. He had been accused of knocking out Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale outside a nightclub.