The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed that Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes can be available for selection for the upcoming tour of New Zealand.
Stokes, who was on a suspension for an incident in a nightclub in Bristol in September will appear along with two others before Bristol Magistrates’ Court at a date yet to be fixed.
The 26-year-old missed the final two One-Day Internationals against West Indies, the Ashes series in Australia and also the ongoing ODI series against Steven Smith's side but he did play in six Twenty20 games for Canterbury in the Super Smash tournament.
The ECB said the board agreed it “would not be fair, reasonable or proportionate” for Stokes to remain unavailable, given his intention to contest the charge and the potential length of time to trial.
“Following a full Board discussion, in which all considerations were taken into account, the ECB Board has agreed that Ben Stokes should now be considered for England selection,” the statement read.
“ECB fully respects the legal process and the player’s intention to defend himself against the charge,” it added.
“England selectors, management and players have been informed and Ben Stokes is expected to join the squad in New Zealand for February’s T20 matches.”
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