Joe Root and Stuart Broad have pulled out of Jos Buttler's stag weekend in Amsterdam as the fallout from Kiwi-born Ben Stokes' arrest continues to engulf cricket.

Root and Broad are close friends with Buttler and share the same agent but decided not to put themselves in any potentially awkward situation this weekend in Amsterdam with the behaviour of England cricketers now under immense scrutiny.

It is understood some members of the team are planning to go away with Buttler and help him celebrate this weekend but the whole England squad have been read the riot act, with Andrew Strauss, the team director, issuing strict instructions to the players, demanding they behave themselves as he bids to instil a change of culture within the side.

The squad are set for extra security in Australia this (southern) summer and will be issued with reminders about standards of behaviour.


For the ECB, the Stokes and Alex Hales fall-out has potentially wider ramifications. They are renegotiating their current deal with one-day sponsors Royal London and fear the negative publicity this week has put that deal in danger.

The more immediate concern is the Ashes, and whether Stokes is with England in Australia will be decided by the outcome of the police investigation. The only hope he has of touring is if he is charged with the lesser offence of affray. But if he is charged with the more serious offence of causing actual bodily harm then there is an acceptance at the ECB he will play no part in the Ashes.

The pace of the police investigation is out of their control. Stokes, who was arrested on Monday morning on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm, is due to be interviewed by detectives next week. Alex Hales is also set to be interviewed under caution.

He has not been arrested and neither player has been charged.

On Thursday, Strauss referred their cases to an independent cricket disciplinary commission. It is understood the cricket case will not be heard until the end of the criminal investigation, which if it goes to court, could be many months away. It is feared the cricket disciplinary case could prejudice any criminal trial if it goes ahead first.

Avon and Somerset police have launched an appeal for two men to come forward to support the story put forward by Stokes and Hales after the incident in Bristol on Monday.

Sources have said the England players were responding to homophobic taunts made at two unidentified men. "We believe there are two specific witnesses, both men, with information about what happened in the moments prior to the disorder who are yet to come forward and we'd appeal for them to do so as soon as possible," said the police in a statement.

Hales and Stokes have been put on indefinite suspension on full pay by the ECB. The England squad leaves for Australia on October 28 and the ECB are hoping for clarity from the police as soon as possible so they can make contingency plans.

The naming of the Lions squad has been delayed along with the awarding of central contracts. Both were expected early next week but have been put on hold.

England are making plans for life without Stokes in Australia with Tom Westley, the Essex batsman, and Liam Plunkett in line for call-ups as there is an acceptance it would need two men to replace Stokes in the squad.

Westley was dropped by England when they announced the Ashes squad on Wednesday after his legside technique was exposed by West Indies and South Africa this summer while Plunkett has not played test cricket for three years.