Published: Sat, December 02, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Ben Stokes signs for New Zealand side Canterbury

Ben Stokes signs for New Zealand side Canterbury

Stokes, 26, was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm after an incident in Bristol on 25th September in which a man suffered a fractured eye socket. Bristol and Avon Police announced on Wednesday that they had referred Stokes's case to the Crown Prosecution Service, who will make a final decision on whether to charge him.

Stokes, who arrived in New Zealand on Wednesday, and is awaiting a decision on whether he could play for Canterbury this weekend, was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm then released on bail and has since been made unavailable for global duty.

Stokes was granted a No Objection Certificate by the European Central Bank last week although that was not made public until he was spotted at Heathrow airport on Monday evening which sparked frenzied speculation that he could be joining the Ashes squad.

However, he is not barred from playing domestic cricket in any country.

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The CPS decision would normally be expected to take several weeks - perhaps longer - so the latest developments do not add any clarity to Stokes immediate worldwide future and would appear to drastically reduce the chance of him playing a part in the Ashes.

England vice-captain Ben Stokes has signed a short-term deal with New Zealand side Canterbury, the club has confirmed.

"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 Gary Stead, Canterbury's director of cricket.

Stokes was arrested for his part in an incident outside a Bristol nightclub following England's victory over West Indies in the third one-day worldwide.

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Files from Avon and Somerset Police reveal that one of the alleged victims suffered a broken eye socket during the fight involving Stokes. He will be sentenced in January.

Because Stokes is permitted to play domestic cricket, it opens up the possibility that he could feature in Australia's Big Bash T20 tournament whilst the Ashes are still taking place.

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. A potential call-up to the Ashes squad in Australia, where England lost the first Test, has been widely suggested, should Stokes not be charged by the CPS. The second test begins in Adelaide on Saturday.

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