With the sight of Ben Stokes boarding a flight at London’s Heathrow Airport on Monday evening with his full cricket kit creating a wave suggesting the suspended all-rounder is on his way to Australia to join the England team, England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) issued an official statement to deny those rumours.
The rumours emerged after pictures of the ace all-rounder with his kitbag in luggage, began to do the rounds on social media.
Even former England wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior felt the 26-year old was all set to join the team for the remainder of the Ashes.
— Matt Prior (@MattPrior13) November 27, 2017
However, the ECB did not take long to dash the hopes as the issued a statement, denying the all-rounder is joining the senior team, England Lions or any other official training camps. The cricket board also revealed that Stokes was on his way to New Zealand, and not Australia, to spend time with his family.
Meanwhile, reports are also suggesting Stokes could link up for some domestic cricket for Canterbury in Christchurch – his parents’ hometown.
“The ECB is aware that Ben Stokes is making a private trip to New Zealand to spend time with his family. His travel arrangements have not been arranged by the ECB,” a statement from the board read.“He is not on his way to the Ashes, England Lions or any other official training camps with the England set-up.”
Stokes is still under investigation by Avon & Somerset Police for the incident that took place outside a bar in Bristol on September 25. The all-rounder is getting investigated for allegations of causing Actual Bodily Harm.
Recently, England’s team director Andrew Strauss had said the ECB is still awaiting clarity on the whole issue.
“We are waiting for the police to make a charging decision and, until that happens, nothing has changed. We’re in the same situation as we have been for quite a long time now,” Strauss had said on Monday (November 27).
Any hopes of Stokes playing in the Ashes is looking bleak at the moment. Not only the police is yet to conclude its investigation but also the ECB would launch its disciplinary process once the police give its verdict.
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