ECB says Ben Stokes to be considered for England selection while he awaits trial for affray

All-rounder has been charged by the Crown Prosecution Service over an incident in Bristol in September but ECB confirmed he is now free to resume his international career during the New Zealand leg of England's forthcoming Twenty20 Tri-Series

File photo dated 26-05-2017 of England's Ben Stokes. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday January 17, 2018. Ben Stokes will be considered for England selection immediately and he is expected to join the team for the T20 games in New Zealand next month, the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced. See PA story CRICKET England. Photo credit should read John Walton/PA Wire.
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The England and Wales Cricket board has decided Ben Stokes should be considered for selection while he awaits trial for affray, with the all-rounder due to rejoin the team in February.

Stokes has been charged by the Crown Prosecution Service over an incident in Bristol in September that reportedly left a man with a fractured eye socket.

As a result, Stokes missed the whole of England's 4-0 Ashes series defeat in Australia.

But, having been unavailable since his initial arrest, he is now free to resume his international career during the New Zealand leg of England's forthcoming Twenty20 Tri-Series.

An ECB statement read: "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.

"ECB fully respects the legal process and the player's intention to defend himself against the charge."

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