Ben Stokes could make England return in New Zealand one-day series
The all-rounder has not played since September and is due in court to face a charge of affray.
Ben Stokes could make his England return in the one-day series against New Zealand after being included in a 15-man squad “subject to any court obligations”.
Stokes has not featured for his country since September, when he was arrested on a night out in Bristol, and is due to appear at magistrates’ court on February 13 charged with affray.
That date clashed with the 26-year-old all-rounder’s planned comeback in a Twenty20 against the Black Caps and, while the ECB is hopeful he will be clear to play the five-match ODI series which starts on February 25, officials are awaiting clarification of the legal process.
His travel arrangements are yet to be confirmed and it is possible he will link up with the rest of the squad separately.
Speaking after his charge, Stokes declared himself “keen to have an opportunity to clear my name” and indicated he would await trial in order to do so.
England’s decision to name Stokes with a caveat beside his involvement follows a familiar pattern dating back to the Ashes, with the player selected but ultimately deemed unavailable for both the Test and ODI series Down Under.
An ECB board meeting decided he was once again available to represent England following his charge last month.
Elsewhere, selectors have named an almost identical 50-over squad that that which defeated Australia 4-1 in recent weeks.
Seamer Jake Ball, who played the final match of the series, has been left out having been on tour since England landed in Australia in October. Dawid Malan also drops out after being added as Stokes’ replacement for the Australia campaign.
Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes all take the places after being granted a rest from the forthcoming the T20 tri-series against Australia and New Zealand.