A day after Ben Stokes was spotted at the airport, and it was reported that the all-rounder was on his way to New Zealand to spend some family time, but if he gets the permission by any domestic side, he may play in the domestic season as he was born in New Zealand. Now according to the latest reports, he will play a 50 over match for Canterbury on Sunday against Otago Volts.
The ECB has also reported that a decision on Ben Stokes case will be made in the next 48 hours from police, paving the way for his international return. Stokes is under investigation for causing actual bodily harms to a 27-year-old man outside a bar after England’s win against West Indies in Bristol. Stokes is most likely to join the England team for the third Test in Perth.
The possibility of Ben Stokes joining the team has brought joy to the squad which is trailing 0-1 as they lost the first Test at the Gabba. Fast bowler Chris Woakes expressed his joy in an interview with BBC radio:
“As an England team we’d like to see him here. As a player, as a friend I’d like to see him here. “No one likes to see what he’s been through. Of course, we’d have him here with open arms, I’m sure. Ben’s a world-class cricketer and he’d make any team in the world better so it’d be silly of us to not open it up for him to come into the squad.”
On the possibility of Stokes playing in New Zealand, he said:
“It’s great for Ben, isn’t it? Having had two months away from the game, with a lot that stuff going around it’ll be great for him to get outdoors. I know he’s been training indoors as we’ve all seen, but nothing beats playing cricket outdoors. For him to be out there playing cricket when you’ve been kept in at home for a while it’ll be great for him. It’s great to see him back doing what he loves and what he’s good at. It’s good news for the squad as well, it doesn’t mean he’s arriving anytime soon, but at the same it means he’s a little bit closer I suppose. Fingers crossed he can get out there, play some cricket, get some form under his belt and who knows?”