Ben Stokes was suspended by England's cricket team on Thursday following the release of video footage appearing to show the test vice-captain throwing punches in a street fight. Stokes, an allrounder regarded as one of the world's star players, had already been arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm after the incident early Monday in Bristol.
Alex Hales, an opening batsman for England, was out with Stokes that night.
"Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be considered for selection for England international matches until further notice," the England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement.
It throws England's preparations for the Ashes series against Australia into turmoil, with Stokes one of the team's key players with bat and ball. Stokes was included in a 16-man Ashes squad announced Wednesday, even though he sustained a broken finger in the incident on Monday.
In the video published by The Sun late Wednesday and lasting nearly a minute, a man said by the newspaper to be Stokes is seen throwing punches at two others, one of whom was punched to the ground.
The alleged incident took place outside a nightclub at 2:35 a.m. local time on Monday, after which a 27-year-old man was taken to hospital. Stokes and Hales were out in Bristol after England's one-day international against West Indies in the city on Sunday.
The ECB said Stokes and Hales remained on full pay pending separate investigations by the ECB and police. They will be the subject of a disciplinary commission.
"These decisions, fully supported by ECB chairman Colin Graves, were made following the release of footage viewed by ECB for the first time on Wednesday night," the ECB said.
It is the latest, and most serious, an off-field misdemeanour involving Stokes, who was cautioned by police after being arrested for obstructing police during a night out in 2011 and was sent home from an England Lions tour of Australia the following year for flouting rules on late-night drinking.
Stokes was the costliest player in this year's Indian Premier League, worth $2.15 million, and ended it as the Most Valuable Player.
"Ben Stokes has the world at his feet and is well on the way to becoming a very special - not to mention very well rewarded - cricketer," former England captain Nasser Hussain wrote in the The Daily Mail this week. "But he cannot keep flirting with the self-destruct button while getting himself into such damaging scrapes.
"It has reached the point where it could damage the career of a potentially great England cricketer."