Stokes in talks to play in NZ, paving way for Ashes return

ANI | Updated: Nov 28, 2017 13:23 IST

London [U.K], November 28 (ANI): Suspended England all-rounder Ben Stokes is in line to return back to action with the first-class cricket in New Zealand, thus taking a step closer to potentially making a way back to the Ashes squad.

The 26-year-old took social media by storm when a picture emerged showing Stokes leaving London's Heathrow airport, with speculations mounting that he is set to join his England teammates in Australia.

However, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) dismissed the rumours, saying that Stokes is heading to New Zealand on a private trip to see family in the land of his birthplace.

Earlier in October, Stokes was withdrawn from the England's Ashes squad in the wake of pending investigation into the incident that had led to his arrest after a nightclub brawl in Bristol.

He now remains the subject of a British police investigation, with England's Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss reiterating that the ECB was still waiting for that process to be finalised in order to decide Stokes' future.

Meanwhile, there were speculations that Stokes was set to play for Canterbury in domestic limited-overs games, and now the team has confirmed that they had held informal talks with Stokes' representatives regarding his potential availability for Ford Trophy and Burger King Super Smash cricket.

"The CCA Board and New Zealand Cricket will independently be considering this issue in the near future," cricket.com.au quoted chief executive Jeremy Curwin, as saying.

In September, the ECB barred Stokes and his team-mate Alex Hales, who was with the all-rounder during the Bristol incident, from playing in the international matches.

However, the suspension does not apply to domestic cricket, which means that Stokes could turn out for Canterbury.

The speculation regarding Stokes' return comes after England's shocking 10-wicket defeat at the hands of Australia in the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba, Brisbane. The two sides will play their second Test from December 2 at the Adelaide Oval. (ANI)

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