Ben Stokes has tuned up for his return to professional cricket this weekend with a first net for his new club Canterbury Kings.
Stokes, still waiting to hear if he will be charged by police after being arrested over a late-night fracas in Bristol in September, is due to play for Canterbury against Otago in New Zealand’s Ford Trophy 50-over domestic competition.
Avon & Somerset Police have passed their file to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on whether to charge Stokes.
The all-rounder’s prospects of joining England mid-series in this winter’s Ashes may hinge on that decision.
While his international team-mates were beginning day one of the inaugural pink-ball Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval, Stokes joined the Christchurch-based Kings in training – having flown to his native New Zealand and then signed on as an overseas player this week.
He gave a brief TV interview, quoted on Cricket Australia’s website, in which he said: “It was the first time I have met quite a few of (my new team-mates) today.
“But it was nice to know a few faces – a few of the young guys came over to Durham as part of the exchange programme.
“It was nice, because it can be hard coming to a new team.
“I hope I can get out there, do well, and contribute to Canterbury winning.”
In Stokes' absence, England kicked off the second Test by sticking the Aussies into bat in Adelaide but struggled to make any serious in-roads as the hosts closed day one on 209-4.
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