Ben Stokes to return to action with NZ side Canterbury

Canterbury Cricket is understood to be wavering on offering a contract to Ben Stokes after a flurry of local and international interest and speculation

Canterbury Cricket is understood to be wavering on offering a contract to Ben Stokes after a flurry of local and international interest and speculation

Stokes could yet play some part in the Ashes, although that depends on whether the Crown Prosecution Service decides to charge him after he was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm in Bristol on September 25.

The association said the inclusion of the all-rounder, who arrived in Christchurch on Wednesday, had been agreed by the CCA and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

On Wednesday, Stokes landed in New Zealand and is expected to play for Canterbury in their domestic competition this weekend.

The ECB's stance means that he has been unable to participate in The Ashes in Australia so far, although hopes were raised earlier this week when he was spotted boarding a flight to New Zealand. He will represent Canterbury in 50-over Ford Trophy match against Otago in Rangiora on Sunday.

The agreement has also been "endorsed by the New Zealand Cricket Players Association and sanctioned by New Zealand Cricket", the CCA said in a statement.

"After the approach from Ben's representatives, everything has happened very quickly for us to the extent that we are now delighted to welcome Ben into the team", said Canterbury director of cricket Gary Stead.

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England lost the opener of the five-match Ashes rubber by 10 wickets in Brisbane and are preparing to play the historic day-night second Test in Adelaide from Saturday.

The fact that Stokes has been cleared to travel, added to the proximity of New Zealand to Australia, means that European Central Bank will attempt to parachute him into their Ashes squad immediately after resolution of the police investigation.

A Cricket Discipline Commission, under the auspices of the European Central Bank, will conduct its own disciplinary inquiry once the police investigation is concluded.

"A 27-year-old man suffered a fractured eye socked in the incident on Queens Road, Clifton".

In a Twitter post, the authorities stated that they seek advice from the Crown Prosecution Services on the charges they could press on the English cricketer who was arrested on the suspicion of causing bodily harm to two individuals in Bristol on the morning of September 25.

"Three other men, aged 26, 27 and 28 have all voluntarily attended police stations for interview".

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