Stokes included in England squad for NZ ODIs


Ben Stokes has, once again, been provisionally included in England’s ODI squad for the five-match series in New Zealand that starts later this month.

England, who recently beat Australia four-one in an ODI series Down Under, will play five games against the Kiwis in the 50-over format, starting on 24 February in Hamilton.

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Stokes has not played international cricket for four months due to his involvement, and subsequent arrest, for assault outside a nightclub in Bristol in September last year.

The Durham allrounder is due to have his first court appearance on 13 February with England saying that Stokes will play “subject to any court obligations”.

Dawid Malan, who was part of the 15-man squad but did not play against the Aussies, drops out but should keep his kit bag ready if history is to be repeated.

England’s chairman of selectors James Whittaker commented on the squad: “On behalf of the England selectors I’d like to congratulate head coach Trevor Bayliss and captain Eoin Morgan on their victory in the ODI series over Australia.

“Our ODI side has made excellent progress over the last three years and it’s encouraging to see with the 2019 World Cup on the horizon.

“We’re sure to encounter strong opposition in New Zealand but it’s another opportunity for the team to test themselves and to continue playing entertaining cricket.”