(Reuters) – England coach Trevor Bayliss is hopeful that Ben Stokes’ “exemplary” conduct since an altercation outside a nightclub last year can help the all-rounder avoid a ban ahead of the side’s tour of the West Indies starting in January.
Stokes and batsman Alex Hales face a disciplinary hearing early next month after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had charged the pair with bringing the game into disrepute following the September 2017 incident in Bristol.
“I hope he (Stokes) is available for our next game. I think he’s learnt a lesson since that time. The way he’s conducted himself since he’s come back into the fold has been exemplary,” Bayliss told reporters.
“The hearing coming up hasn’t affected him, I haven’t heard it mentioned once around the changing room.”
The pair could face any of a range of penalties from a warning to the termination of their contracts.
Stokes, who was cleared of affray in August, played an important role with bat and ball as England completed their first 3-0 test series sweep in Sri Lanka on Monday.
“You can throw the ball to him, you can put him in any situation with the bat, you can put him where the ball is coming in the field. For me, he’s the first picked,” Bayliss added.
“His averages may not be the greatest in each of his positions, but you add those three disciplines together, it adds up to one hell of a player.”
England take on West Indies in three tests, five one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals from January to March.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)