New Zealand vs England: ECB include Ben Stokes in 15-man squad for ODI series

Ben Stokes' long-awaited return to England duty could take place in his native New Zealand after the all-rounder was included on Thursday in a 15-man squad for a one-day international series against the Black Caps "subject to any court obligations".

AFP, February 02, 2018

London: Ben Stokes' long-awaited return to England duty could take place in his native New Zealand after the all-rounder was included on Thursday in a 15-man squad for a one-day international series against the Black Caps "subject to any court obligations".

Stokes has not played international cricket since being suspended by the England and Wales Board (ECB) following his involvement in an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September that reportedly left a man with a fractured eye socket.

File image of Ben Stokes. AFP

File image of Ben Stokes. AFP

As a result, the Durham all-rounder missed the whole of England's 4-0 Ashes series defeat in Australia.

But last month saw Stokes included in England's squad for the upcoming triangular Twenty20 series that is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

However, English legal authorities then announced that Stokes was due to appear in a magistrates court on 13 February after he was charged with affray.

That date clashes with what England had hoped would be Stokes's planned international comeback in a Twenty20 with New Zealand.

England remain optimistic that Stokes will be available for all of a five-match ODI series that starts on 25 February but the complexities of the legal system mean they cannot be certain.

'Court obligations'

As a result Thursday saw the latest in a series of qualified ECB statements regarding Stokes, with the board saying: "Ben Stokes' involvement is subject to any court obligations in relation to the incident in Bristol in September and his travel arrangements are yet to be confirmed."

Stokes, who had been Test skipper Joe Root's vice-captain, was selected but later deemed unavailable for both the Test and ODI series in Australia.

After he was charged, Stokes said he was "keen to have an opportunity to clear my name" but would wait for his court date.

"Walking out on to the field with the England shirt on is a privilege and a honour," said Stokes after the T20 squad was announced. "I'm extremely delighted to be given this opportunity to do this again."

Stokes, who came to England as a boy when his father, a former New Zealand rugby league international, got a coaching job, sparked talk of a possible international recall by playing for New Zealand domestic side Canterbury for a month and last weekend, despite his looming court date, he topped the Indian Premier League auction, selling for $1.96 million.

Stokes, signed by the Rajasthan Royals, will look to build on an impressive debut season in the Twenty20 franchise tournament last year.

Under English law, affray, which refers to fighting in public, can carry a maximum sentence of up to three years in prison.

The remainder of England's 15-man squad announced Thursday features the bulk of the players who defeated Australia 4-1 in a recent five-match ODI series.

England squad for New Zealand ODIs:

Eoin Morgan (Middlesex, capt), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Sam Billings (Kent, wkt), Jos Buttler (Lancashire, wkt), Tom Curran (Surrey), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), David Willey (Yorkshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

Fixtures

25 February: 1st ODI, Seddon Park, Hamilton

28 February: 2nd ODI, Bay Oval, Tauranga

03 March: 3rd ODI, Westpac Stadium, Wellington

07 March: 4th ODI, University of Otago Oval, Dunedin

10 March: 5th ODI, Hagley Oval, Christchurch

Updated Date: Feb 02, 2018

T20 LEAGUE POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Hyderabad
14 9 5 0 18
2
Chennai
14 9 5 0 18
3
Kolkata
14 8 6 0 16
4
Rajasthan
14 7 7 0 14
5
Mumbai
14 6 8 0 12
6
Bangalore
14 6 8 0 12
7
Punjab
14 6 8 0 12
8
Delhi
14 5 9 0 10




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3499 125
2 South Africa 3589 112
3 Australia 3499 106
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 England 3511 98
6 Sri Lanka 2914 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5257 125
2 India 5492 122
3 South Africa 3842 113
4 New Zealand 4602 112
5 Australia 3327 104
6 Pakistan 3279 102
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 2990 130
2 Australia 1894 126
3 India 3932 123
4 New Zealand 2542 116
5 England 1951 115
6 South Africa 2058 114