Ashes 2017: Suspended Ben Stokes jokes about working on his golf swing after landing in New Zealand

Stokes' stint with Canterbury is widely seen as an attempt to stay match-fit if he receives the call to travel to Australia and bolster an England side reeling from a 10-wicket defeat in the first Ashes Test.

AFP, Nov,29 2017

Suspended England all-rounder Ben Stokes landed in New Zealand on Wednesday, joking about "working on my golf swing" amid speculation he is set for a dramatic Ashes call-up.

The fiery allrounder was tight-lipped after touching down in Christchurch, where he hopes to play first-class cricket for the Canterbury in New Zealand's domestic one-day competition.

Kiwi-born Stokes said he was looking forward to seeing his parents in the South Island city he left when he was 12.

New Zealand-born England cricketer Ben Stokes arrives in Christchurch on Wednesday. AP

New Zealand-born England cricketer Ben Stokes arrives in Christchurch on Wednesday. AP

"It's been that long since I've been back here, I'm 26 now," he told reporters, refusing to discuss the trolley full of cricket gear he was pushing and instead quipping about golf.

Stokes is barred from international cricket as British police investigate his alleged involvement in a late-night fight outside a Bristol nightclub.

But the suspension announced in September does not apply to domestic cricket, meaning Stokes could turn out for Canterbury as early as this Sunday.

His stint with the New Zealand side is widely seen as an attempt to stay match-fit if Stokes receives the call to travel to Australia and bolster an England side reeling from a 10-wicket defeat in the first Ashes Test.

Britain's Telegraph newspaper reported that England had contingency plans to fast-track Stokes back into the Ashes squad within 48 hours if police decide not to charge him over the fracas.

That could see him play in the Third Test in Perth starting 14 December.

But first he has to sort out his immediate future with Canterbury, which is expected to discuss the issue at a board meeting on Wednesday night.

"The Ashes hasn't been discussed whatsoever... There's still a bit of water to go under the bridge," Canterbury coach Gary Stead told Australia's RSN Radio.

"I hope from a coaching point of view we can make this work. We've got a pretty young team here and to play alongside a premium world-class all-rounder would be great for them."

Stokes was born in New Zealand but moved to England as a child when his father Gerard, a former rugby league international, took a coaching role.

Both his parents have since moved back to Christchurch. The ECB has emphasised that Stokes is on a private trip that had not been set up by the organisation.

Published Date: Nov 29, 2017 | Updated Date: Nov 29, 2017




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4969 124
2 South Africa 3888 111
3 Australia 4174 104
4 New Zealand 3489 100
5 England 4829 99
6 Sri Lanka 4058 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 6386 120
2 India 6680 119
3 New Zealand 6650 117
4 England 6483 116
5 Australia 6077 113
6 Pakistan 4875 96
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 2262 126
2 Pakistan 2843 124
3 India 3385 121
4 England 2029 119
5 West Indies 2538 115
6 South Africa 2238 112