Coles and Stokes to return to UK

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England Lions management today confirmed that Kent pace bowler Matt Coles and Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes will be sent home from the current tour of Australia, following disciplinary hearings for unprofessional conduct.

The pair had contravened their conduct obligations previously during the tour and had been issued with written warnings.

ECB Performance Director David Parsons said: “On a very challenging tour to Australia, both Matt and Ben have ignored the instructions given to them around their match preparation and recovery and, following previous warnings, it is regrettable that it has been necessary to terminate their involvement in the tour.

“Both are very talented individuals and it is hoped that, with the support of the ECB and their respective counties, they will take positive steps to give themselves the very best chance of fulfilling their potential.

“There will be no replacement players called up to the squad as a result of this matter.”

Coles said: “I am very sorry about what has happened in Australia and I believe I have learnt my lesson. I have apologised to the players and coaches involved, so would now like to move forward from this by looking ahead to the start of the county season at Kent.”

Stokes added: “I would like to apologise for the way in which I acted. I am determined to bounce back from this situation and I regret my actions off the field. I look forward to getting back to my county to start pre-season preparations.”

The ECB will be making no further comment.

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