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Stokes 'can't wait' for England return after ECB clearance

Omnisport
NEWS
339   //    18 Jan 2018, 02:38 IST
Ben Stokes - cropped
Ben Stokes of England

Ben Stokes says he is "extremely delighted" to be given the opportunity to play for England again.

The star all-rounder has not appeared for his country since a one-day international against West Indies in September.

He was arrested following an altercation during a night out in Bristol and subsequently missed the 4-0 Ashes loss away to Australia.

The 26-year-old was this week charged with one count of affray and will be required to appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court on a date that is yet to be fixed. 

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has since announced Stokes is available for selection and he could now feature in the tour of New Zealand that follows England's remaining limited-overs contests in Australia.

Stokes wrote in two Twitter posts: "Representing my country is one of the greatest things that I've ever been lucky enough to do, walking out on to the field with the England shirt on is a privilege and an honour.

"I'm extremely delighted to be given this opportunity to do this again....1/2.

"I can't wait to get back out on a pitch with the 3 Lions on my chest and feeling that pride that we all get and giving everything for the team."

Upon learning on Monday of the charge he faces, Stokes issued a statement in which he said: "I am keen to have an opportunity to clear my name but, on advice, the appropriate time to do this is when the case comes to trial."

And in declaring him available, the ECB said: "Given the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] 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."

Omnisport
NEWS
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