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Stokes available for England selection, set for NZ return

17 Январь 2018 12:10

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed Ben Stokes will now be considered for England selection once again.

Stokes has not represented his country since he was arrested following a late-night incident in Bristol in September, the all-rounder missing the Ashes defeat to Australia as a result.

However, after he was charged with affray on Monday, the ECB board has now decided Stokes can return to the international arena.

An ECB statement read: "Given the CPS [Crown Prosecution] decision to charge him and two others with affray, confirmation of his intention to contest the charge and the potential length of time to trial, the board agreed that it would not be fair, reasonable or proportionate for Ben Stokes to remain unavailable for a further indeterminate period.

"ECB fully respects the legal process and the player's intention to defend himself against the charge."

England are currently playing Australia in a one-day series following their 4-0 Ashes loss, Eoin Morgan's side running out emphatic winners in last weekend's opening 50-over match in Melbourne.

Stokes, who was initially named in England's squads for the Ashes and subsequent ODI series pending a final decision on his availability, is set to make his return next month in Twenty20 contests against New Zealand.

"England selectors, management and players have been informed and Ben Stokes is expected to join the squad in New Zealand for February’s T20 matches," continued the ECB's statement.

"ECB confirmed in December that the independent Cricket Discipline Commission [CDC] would stay the internal disciplinary process for both Alex Hales and Ben Stokes until the conclusion of court proceedings relating to the incident."

Hales, who was present for the incident involving Stokes, played in the first ODI against Australia after it was confirmed last month that he would not face criminal charges.

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