British juris prudence can at times seem to proceed at a leisurely pace, and that laconic approach to law enforcement might have an impact on whether or not top British all-rounder Ben Stokes can truly make it back on ground for the third Ashes Test in Perth.
The bobbies have completed their investigation into the late-night street brawl outside a Bristol pub and they have turned the matter over to prosecutors, who will now ponder the evidence and ultimately decide whether or not to pursue charges against Stokes.
After tea, that is. Or in a fortnight or so. These things cannot be rushed. There is video footage of Stokes throwing punches, which is frowned upon in England and perhaps one or two other places.
The police from Avon and Somerset released Stokes while the investigation was ongoing, but why he was allowed to leave the country to “visit family in New Zealand” is a little harder to explain. Those police have passed the evidence file to the Crown Prosecution Service and are seeking advice on whether to charge Stokes or not and if so, exactly what charges are to be filed.
That process, according to the BBC, could take weeks or longer and if the ECB decides to hold to its statement that they would wait the decision on the charges before making a decision on his playing status.
Stokes was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board, and he has not played since the incident, but he was given permission to play in a domestic competition in New Zealand this weekend, which would give him an opportunity to scrape off any rust.
Stokes landed in the city of his birth, Christchurch, on Wednesday, so if he were to be cleared to play in the third Ashes Test, he will not have too far to go, comparatively speaking anyway, as the flight between the two cities can be done in as little as six hours.