Ben Stokes has been added to England’s squad for the forthcoming One-Day International series against New Zealand, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Friday (February 2).
The 26-year old has not played for England since the incident in Bristol on September 25 but is due to rejoin the limited-overs squad in New Zealand after appearing at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on a charge of affray on February 13.
However, Stokes’ involvement is subject to any court obligations, and his travel arrangements are yet to be confirmed, the English board said.
Stokes, who got arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and was in custody overnight before being released while still being under inquiry, was omitted from the Ashes squad, as the England & Wales Cricket Board also suspended him. The ace all-rounder, however, returned to competitive cricket for Canterbury in the domestic one-day and T20 competitions in New Zealand in December for which he was granted a no-objection certificate by the ECB.
He later got omitted from England’s ODI squad for the recently-concluded five-match series ODI in Australia as well.
With Stokes now included in the side, England has dropped Dawid Malan who was earlier a part of the series in Australia. Jake Ball, who was named as a cover for injured Liam Plunkett for the T20I series, failed to find a spot for the ODI series too.
But while Stokes’ addition will make England further stronger, they have done quite well in their star player’s absence. They blew away Australia 4-1 in the ODIs and are now gearing up for the T20 tri-series against their Ashes opponents and New Zealand.
James Whitaker, the chairman of selectors, expressed his delight on the team’s recent success and believed the unit is making fast progress keeping the 2019 World Cup in sight.
“On behalf of the England selectors, I’d like to congratulate head coach Trevor Bayliss and captain Eoin Morgan on their victory in the Gillette ODI series over Australia. Our ODI side has made excellent progress over the last three years, and it’s encouraging to see with the 2019 World Cup on the horizon. 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.”
Meanwhile, Test captain Joe Root will also return to action in the series, which gets underway on February 25 after being rested for the T20 series.
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.
Here is the news feed: