LONDON: Suspended all-rounder Ben Stokes has been withdrawn by England from the squad for this month’s five-match One-day International series against Australia and has been replaced by batsman Dawid Malan.
According to a statement released by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), should ECB receive formal confirmation that he has either been charged or will face no charges, the ECB board would convene within 48 hours to make a decision on his availability to represent England at that stage.
Stokes, who was provisionally named in England’s squad, is awaiting a decision on whether he will be charged by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for his involvement in an altercation outside a Bristol nightclub in September.
The ECB said he would not travel with the group of players leaving for Australia on Tuesday and his availability will depend on CPS advice.
The first ODI between Australia and England will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 14, followed by further fixtures in Brisbane on January 19, Sydney on January 21, Adelaide, January 26 and Perth on January 28.
Stokes was recently granted a ‘no objection certificate’ to play for Canterbury in New Zealand, the land of his birth, though he cut short his stay there for ‘family reasons’.
And ECB chief executive Tom Harrison conceded it would be ‘difficult’ to prevent him playing in the IPL. Stokes is looking at a lucrative contract in the IPL.