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Canterbury confirm talks on Ben Stokes’ availability to play in New Zealand

Ben Stokes appeared to take a step closer to playing in Ashes 2017-18 against Australia cricket team after boarding a flight to New Zealand, but the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed he was making a private trip to spend time with family.

cricket Updated: Nov 28, 2017 11:40 IST
Ashes 2017-18,Ben Stokes,Canterbury cricket team
Estranged England cricket team player Ben Stokes will be in New Zealand on a private visit but could end up playing a one-day match for Canterbury.(Reuters)

Canterbury confirmed they had “initial informal discussions” regarding England all-rounder Ben Stokes’ availability while in New Zealand.

Stokes appeared to take a step closer to playing in the Ashes against Australia after boarding a flight to New Zealand.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed Stokes was making “a private trip to New Zealand to spend time with his family”.

Amid speculation the 26-year-old was set to play for Canterbury in a one-day game on Sunday, the team confirmed they had spoken to Stokes’ representatives.

“Canterbury Cricket can now confirm that they have been in initial informal discussions with Ben Stokes’ representatives regarding his potential availability for Ford Trophy and Burger King Super Smash competitions,” they said in a statement.

Canterbury Cricket chief executive Jeremy Curwin added: “The CCA board and New Zealand Cricket will independently be considering this issue in the near future but, until then, we are unable to provide any more detail on the status of the deliberations.

“As and when there are any further developments we will of course release further statements.”

Christchurch-born Stokes did not travel to Australia with England’s squad while police investigated the circumstances surrounding his arrest in the early hours of September 25 in Bristol.

Stokes was released without charge after being detained following an alleged fight with two men outside a bar.

Avon and Somerset Police have not issued an update on their investigation into the incident in Bristol and England director of cricket Andrew Strauss has previously suggested that Stokes’ involvement in the Ashes will hinge on inquiries being concluded.

England suffered a 10-wicket loss in Brisbane, with the second Test beginning in Adelaide on Saturday.

First Published: Nov 28, 2017 11:32 IST