Ben Stokes: England player would be Ashes target, says Toby Roland-Jones

Ben Stokes
Stokes has played in 39 Tests for England

Ben Stokes will be "a target" in Australia if he goes on the Ashes tour this winter after his arrest, says England bowler Toby Roland-Jones.

But he says the all-rounder can still make a "massive impact" for England.

Stokes, 26, was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and video footage emerged that allegedly showed him in a brawl on Monday.

"On the pitch I don't see whatever gets thrown at him being an issue to be honest," Roland-Jones told the BBC.

Test vice-captain Stokes has been released by police but remains under investigation after an incident near the Mbargo nightclub in Bristol at about 02:35 BST.

Despite his arrest, he was named on Wednesday in England's squad for the Ashes tour where the first Test starts in Brisbane on 23 November.

On Thursday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Stokes and Alex Hales - who was with him when the incident happened - would not be considered for selection until further notice. Hales was not named in the Ashes squad.

This came after the governing body saw footage published by The Sun newspaper which allegedly shows Stokes throwing punches at two men.

No timeframe has been given on Stokes' potential future availability, but Roland-Jones - who played four Tests this summer but misses the Ashes tour through injury - believes he can handle any hostility from the opposition.

"We've had various small chats about their media and my little understanding is that they'll certainly try and make a target of him and sort of draw the most they can out of the situation," he told BBC Radio 5 live's Sports Panel.

"Knowing him a little bit, as I do, I would have no problems about him going over there and still being able to perform and having a massive impact for that England team."

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Michael Vaughan says Stokes needs to 'look at himself in the mirror' after arrest

What happened in Bristol?

Stokes was arrested after an incident which left a 27-year-old man needing hospital treatment for facial injuries.

Hours earlier, England had beaten West Indies by 124 runs in their third one-day international in Bristol, with Stokes scoring 73.

The video footage shows a man repeatedly swinging punches towards two other men.

The clip, which is just under a minute long, begins with one of the men - who is eventually knocked to the floor - appearing to attempt to strike somebody with a bottle.

Stokes has a minor finger fracture on his right hand after the incident but is expected to be fit for the Ashes.

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