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Ben Stokes in England cricket squad for New Zealand ODIs

Ben Stokes is due to appear at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Feb. 13 to answer a charge of affray following an incident outside a nightclub in September.

cricket Updated: Feb 02, 2018 11:44 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press, Wellington
Ben Stokes,England cricket team,New Zealand vs England
England included all-rounder Ben Stokes in their squad for the five-match one-day international series against New Zealand starting later this month.(AFP)

All-rounder Ben Stokes has been included in England’s squad to play New Zealand in a one-day international series starting later this month, despite ongoing legal issues.

New Zealand-born Stokes has been charged with affray over his involvement in a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub following a one-day international against the West Indies in September.

England cricketer Ben Stokes watches as he hits a ball for six runs during his innings of 93 in his match for the Canterbury Kings against the Otago Volts in a Twenty/20 match Christchurch on December 14, 2017.The New Zealand-born all-rounder has been suspended from playing for England while police investigate his role in the September 25 incident in Bristol which followed a limited-overs international against the West Indies. (AP)

In naming its 15-match squad for the five-match series on Thursday, the England and Wales Cricket Board said Stokes’ involvement was subject to court obligations and his travel arrangements have yet to be confirmed.

Ben Stokes is due to appear in the Bristol Magistrates Court on February 13 and the first match of the New Zealand series is a day-nighter at Hamilton on February 25.

The 26-year-old was previously named in England’s squad for the Twenty20 tri-series against Australia and New Zealand but remained in England pending his court appearance. He has indicated he will defend the charge.

The only cricket Ben Stokes has played since the Bristol incident was for New Zealand’s Canterbury province in December. He played in New Zealand’s domestic one-day and T20 competitions while visiting his mother and father, who live in Christchurch.

Joe Root during the fifth one-day international (ODI) cricket match between England and Australia at the Optus Perth stadium in Perth on January 28, 2018. (AFP)

Joe Root returns

Meanwhile, Test captain Joe Root returns to the England squad for the New Zealand series after being rested for the T20 tri-series. Fast bowler Jake Ball and batsman Dawid Malan were omitted.

“Our ODI side has made good progress over the last two years and it’s encouraging to see with the 2019 World Cup on the horizon,” chairman of selectors James Whittaker said. “We’re sure to encounter strong opposition in New Zealand but it’s another opportunity for the team to test themselves and to continue playing entertaining cricket.”

England beat Australia 4-1 in the recently-concluded five-match ODI series in Australia.

England squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

First Published: Feb 02, 2018 11:38 IST