London: Ben Stokes will now be considered for England selection again and is set to return next month despite being charged with affray, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced yesterday.
Stokes was suspended from international duty by the ECB following his involvement in an incident outside a nightclub in September that reportedly left a man with a fractured eye socket.
As a result, the Durham all-rounder missed the whole of England’s 4-0 Ashes series defeat in Australia.
Although England are currently involved in a one-day international series in Australia, the ECB said Stokes was expected to return to the England squad in his native New Zealand for February’s triangular Twenty20 series that is being co-hosted with Australia.
Afterwards, England will remain in New Zealand for five one-day internationals and two Tests.
Yesterday’s announcement leaves the ECB in an awkward position given they banned Stokes when he had not been charged with any offence and have now made him available for England duty just days after prosecutors brought charges against him on Monday.