Ben Stokes’ return to England team is set to be delayed after he was given a date of February 13 to appear before Bristol Magistrates’ Court to answer a charge of affray. He was made available for England team just a day ago but his return, expected on February 13, seems to be delayed with the date coinciding with his appearance in the court which was confirmed by the Avon and Somerset police.
England were to play New Zealand in the T20I Tri-series on the same date. ECB had cleared Stokes for selection for England team on Wednesday after a meeting and he was also named in England’s squad for the Tri-series. Australia is the third team in the series. Stokes was expected to join the team in New Zealand once they finish the ODI series against Australia.
England are in Australia for the five-match ODI series in which the second will be played on Friday. England coach Trevor Bayliss said before the second game that they would like Stokes to have some practice before New Zealand tour. Stokes was with Canterbury before Christmas.
“Hopefully we can get him some cricket somewhere as part of his practice going into the New Zealand leg. That’ll be up to him,” Bayliss was quoted as saying by BBC in Brisbane.
“It’s all about performance. We want him to be up and running and ready to go. I think there’s a few legal things to get through in the next week or so, 10 days, but then it’s about being prepared to play. We can’t get him to come in and perform in an international match straight away, so it’s about getting him ready.”
Stokes had also tweeted after he was selected for the T20I team to represent England in the New Zealand Tri-Series.
“I’m extremely delighted to be given this opportunity to do this again. I can’t wait to get back out on a pitch with the three Lions on my chest,” his tweet read.