Ben Stokes, Alex Hales likely to get new England contracts

Jimmy Anderson says England's cricketers will hold talks over how they deal with their time off

Jimmy Anderson says England's cricketers will hold talks over how they deal with their time off

Stokes' Ashes prospects, however, remain in jeopardy as - with time running desperately short - England await the next stage in a police investigation following his arrest in Bristol last month on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm. He was held overnight before being released.

In the aftermath, Stokes and Hales were left out of the fourth ODI, but Stokes was still named in the original Ashes squad.

Given the hard, flat pitches down under, the 28-year-old had been at the top of many pundits' lists to be added to the squad if England decided on another bowling option to replace Stokes if necessary.

However, Steven Finn could not find a place in the Test contracts despite being included in the Ashes squad as a prospective replacement for Stokes.

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He is in a good place with his club, he is working with a good coach there and we have huge belief in him as well. My players deserve congratulations as well, they played a decent game and can be proud".

Australian legend Shane Warne on Friday said it's not just the tourists who will be missing out if Stokes does not travel. However, Australia inflicted a crushing 5-0 whitewash when the sides last met down under in 2013-14, and despite the possibility of their star allrounder missing out, Lehmann was counting no chickens ahead of the first Test at Brisbane on November 23.

Finn's addition to the Ashes squad comes on the day that he loses his central contract, with fellow pace bowler Mark Wood losing his Test deal but gaining a white-ball contract.

Stokes and Alex Hales, also involved in the incident, have both been awarded new contracts by the European Central Bank but are not being considered for selection until the investigation has concluded.

"Steven (Finn) is a high-quality cricketer, with considerable experience of both worldwide cricket and Australian conditions".

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"This decision will help us in the weeks ahead and gives every player and the whole England set-up the best chance to focus on the challenge ahead in Australia".

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

Both men have been suspended by the European Central Bank and their spots in the Ashes squad for this winter's tour Down Under remain in doubt.

That situation is said to be unrelated to the investigations into Stokes and Hales.

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