12 Oct 2017

New Balance pull plug on Stokes contract

12:59 pm on 12 October 2017

Under-fire England all-rounder Ben Stokes has had his contract with New Balance terminated off-field problems snowball.

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Christchurch-born Stokes earlier apologised to British model Katie Price and her disabled son Harvey after a video emerged of him impersonating the pair.

The video came to light shortly after the 26-year-old Stokes was placed under investigation by police after being arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub last month.

Video footage appeared to show Stokes wildly throwing punches in the fight between the player and two other people, one clutching a bottle.

New Balance said in a statement: "New Balance does not condone behaviour by our global athletes that does not match our brand culture and values, and therefore we have ended our relationship with Ben Stokes, effective October 11, 2017.

England's Test vice-captain Ben Stokes was arrested after an incident at Bristol's Mbargo club.

England's Test vice-captain Ben Stokes was arrested after an incident at Bristol's Mbargo club. Photo: The Sun

Meanwhile Steve Waugh has highlighted Ben Stokes' importance to England by claiming there'd be no hesitation to ban him from the Ashes if he was Australian.

Former national captain Waugh believes England face a difficult call on the vice-captain's Ashes availability despite his alleged involvement in a fight outside a bar.

Steve Waugh

Steve Waugh Photo: Photosport

"England without Ben Stokes, if he doesn't come, I don't think they can win the Ashes," Waugh said.

"It's a tough one. If it was anyone in the Australian side, they wouldn't be picked.

"You can't do that these days in public. It just didn't look good and it's a bad image for the game.

"But I think they're pretty keen for him to play in Australia. He's probably they're best player. It'd be a real shame if he wasn't out here."

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has not made a final decision on Stokes' involvement in the five-Test tour this summer.

But it revealed the star all-rounder will not travel with the rest of the squad in late October.

Waugh has predicted Australia will convincingly regain the Ashes despite conceding several batsmen would lacking confidence after inconsistent form on the subcontinent in recent tours.

"Without Ben Stokes, we'll win. It's too much pressure on Broad and Anderson," Waugh said.

"They're getting a bit older and I can't see them playing five Test matches straight.

"I think Australia'll win 3-1."

The first Ashes Test begins on November 23 in Brisbane.