Ben Stokes © Getty Images
Ben Stokes © Getty Images

Ben Stokes, after being pleaded not guilty to an affray charge, has joined the England cricket team. Stokes first met the staff of England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in Auckland. It has been five months since Stokes played an international match. The last time he played for England was on September 24, when they took on West Indies in Bristol in an ODI.

Stokes, later that night, was allegedly involved in a brawl outside a nightclub. Alex Hales was present with him at the scene. The duo was then banned from international cricket until they were proved not guilty. As a result, Stokes could not take part in The Ashes as well; England conceded the urn after losing the first 3 Tests and eventually losing 0-4.

Stokes is likely to practise with his teammates on Saturday. He will participate in the ODI series against New Zealand, starting February 25.

“It’s about making a judgement call at some stage. In the past he’s been out with injuries and come back sooner than we thought. That’s the type of character he is and it doesn’t take him long at all to get back up to speed.

“He’s been indoors doing plenty in the last month or two, so it’s not as if he’s been doing absolutely nothing – it’ll just be a case of getting him on turf wickets and a few outdoor nets,” said head coach Trevor Bayliss in a report published by ChronicleLive.