England are in danger of missing their star allrounder Ben Stokes for the rest of the Test summer — even if he is found not guilty of affray this week at Bristol Crown Court.
That Stokes would miss the upcoming Test against India is a big certainty irrespective of the verdict. The third game would start at Trent Bridge on Saturday. The England star has already missed the second Test at Lord’s after starring in the first.
Stokes trial continues on Monday and is unlikely to conclude until Wednesday. On the other hand, England would name their 13-man squad for the third Test on Tuesday.
And even if he is cleared there are apprehensions that he might not be mentally ready for the third Test. Moreover, he could also be suspended pending the end of his cricket disciplinary commission hearing.
As soon as his trial ends the cricket discipline process will begin within 48 hours. The final decision, however, depends on the full meeting of the ECB’s board. The length of any potential ban will be decided by the board and may take into account the fact Stokes has already missed an Ashes series. But things could get tricky due to the words used by ECB at that time. The English board had not used the word suspended and had stated that Stokes could not make it to the squad.
Meanwhile, there are big chances that Stokes might miss the entire series against India which ends on September 11.
According to Daily Mail, the reason behind it is that the cricket discipline committee might decide that English cricket’s reputation will suffer if Stokes is selected.
A cooling-off period might then free him up to go on the winter tours to Sri Lanka. And in case that is too soon for a comeback, he might join the side for the tour of West Indies in the new year.
Meanwhile, England did not miss Stokes very much in the second Test against India at Lord’s due to Chris Woakes’ brilliant all round show. Woakes scored his maiden Test ton and picked up 4 wickets as England thrashed India by an innings and 59 runs.