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Ben Stokes named in England ODI squad to face Australia

07 December 2017

Ben Stokes' path back to the England team has seemingly been cleared after he and Alex Hales were provisionally selected for the one-day worldwide series against Australia.

The New Zealand-born all-rounder has been suspended from playing for England while police investigate his role in the September 25 incident in Bristol, which followed a limited-overs worldwide against the West Indies.

"Alex Hales will now be considered for England selection following confirmation that he is no longer a suspect in relation to an incident in Bristol in September", the European Central Bank said in a statement on Monday night.

The England v Australia ODI series consists of five matches with the first at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 14.

Former England cricket captian Michael Vaughan
Former England cricket captian Michael Vaughan

Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood. He was subsequently overlooked during the selection of the squad for the Ashes, which England now trail 0-2.

England head coach Trevor Bayliss said about the prospect of Stokes's return and a media circus: " I'm sure there will be.

"Whether it's any more of a circus than it's already been, it's hard to say".

Along with the other Canterbury bowlers, Stokes' figures were bruised by New Zealand batsman Colin Munro, who made an unbeaten 174 from 118 balls. If it happens, let's just get on with it and take it on the chin.

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Ben Stokes is yet to fire in his Canterbury stint after falling for 34 runs in a one-day match against Auckland on Wednesday.

Avon and Somerset Police detectives investigating the incident passed their file to the Crown Prosecution Service last month for advice on whether to charge Stokes.

Bayliss also said he was ready for all the scrutiny that Stokes's reinstatement would bring.

The news has come as a big relief for the English cricket fans.

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He is joined by Alex Hales, who was also suspended after the Bristol incident but has since been told he can play for England after police confirmed he would not face criminal charges.

"With around 18 months to the start of the 2019 World Cup, our ODI side continues to make solid progress with series wins over the West Indies and South Africa last summer and a semi-final berth in the Champions Trophy", said selector James Whitaker.

A lot of the pre-Ashes talk was dominated by Ben Stokes and whether or not he'd be eligible for England Down Under. "The forthcoming series against Australia presents another significant opportunity for this group to showcase their skills and talent against a quality side away from home".

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Ben Stokes named in England ODI squad to face Australia