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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Can’t wait to get back on pitch with three Lions on my chest: Ben Stokes on England return

The ECB on Thursday said that Ben Stokes will be eligible for selection to the England side that play New Zealand next month.

By: Express Web Desk | Published: January 18, 2018 9:06:08 am
Ben Stokes is set to return for England in international cricket. Ben Stokes was not included in England’s squad for the Australian tour. (Express Archive)

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Thursday announced that allrounder Ben Stokes will now be eligible for selection in England’s squad, paving way for him to get a chance to play in the upcoming series in New Zealand in February. Speaking on his return, the 26-year old said that it would be an honour to play for the country again. “Representing my country is one of the greatest things that I’ve ever been lucky enough to do, walking out on to the field with the England shirt on is a privilege and a honour,” he wrote in a tweet.

The right-hand batsman further added that he will give everything for his team. “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 3 Lions on my chest and feeling that pride that we all get and giving everything for the team,” Stokes said.

In a statement on Wednesday, the ECB said that the decision to make Stokes eligible for selection was taken after a full Board discussion. “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 added that it would be “unfair” to not allow Stokes Stokes has confirmed his intention to contest the charges leveled against him by CPS.

“Given the CPS decision to charge him and two others with affray, confirmation of his intention to contest the charge and the potential length of time to trial, the Board agreed that it would not be fair, reasonable or proportionate for Ben Stokes to remain unavailable for a further indeterminate period,” said the board.

The allrounder has not played for England since been detained by police in September 2017 on alleged assault charges. The ECB had announced that Stokes will not be considered for selection in the international team till the investigation into the matter comes to a conclusion. Hence, Stokes missed the Ashes series and was also not selected in the squad for the 5-match ODI series against Australia.

England will travel to New Zealand in February to play a tri-series against Australia and the home side starting February 3, 2018 followed by a limited-overs series against the Kiwis. Stokes recently played in a T20 tournament for his home side Canterbury in New Zealand while England were against Australia.

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