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Canterbury confirm Ben Stokes signing

Ben Stokes is set to return to competitive cricket
Ben Stokes is set to return to competitive cricket
©REUTERS
 

England all-rounder Ben Stokes is set to make his first comeback to competitive cricket since September after he was signed by New Zealand province Canterbury.

The news has also increased Stokes' chances of joining the England squad in the ongoing Ashes series in Australia ahead of the third Test in Perth that kicks-off on 14th December.

The Durham star was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board pending an outcome from a police investigation for his involvement in an incident in Bristol in September and as a result, he was withdrawn from the Ashes squad and his position of vice-captaincy was handed to James Anderson.

Nevertheless, with the 26-year-old set to feature for Canterbury in a one-day match against Otago on Sunday in Rangiora, near Christchurch, the speculations are rife that he is likely to join the England squad soon.

Director of cricket at Canterbury Cricket Association Gary Stead confirmed the news on Stokes signing.

“After the approach from Ben’s representatives everything has happened very quickly for us to the extent that we are now delighted to welcome Ben into the team,” Stead said in a statement on Thursday.

“While Ben awaits the outcome of an investigation underway in the UK, he wants to maintain his fitness and his connection with the game.”

The confirmation came a day after police said they had passed a case file to Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service and were seeking advice over whether to bring charges against Stokes following his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm

England are currently trailing the series 1-0 following their 10-wicket defeat to Australia in Brisbane and will now compete in a day-night Test in Adelaide that kicks-off on 2nd December.

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