The final quarter of 2017 has not gone according to plan for England all-rounder Ben Stokes, which is set to continue in the early months of the new year as well.
Since being involved in a brawl in Bristol back in September, the career graph of Stokes has plummeted to an all-time low, with the talisman missing the Ashes series, as the England Cricket Board [ECB] await the decision on whether he will be charged for the incident or not.
ECB have also issued suspension on the Brit for an indefinite period, with the board set to conduct their own disciplinary action after the conclusion of the police investigation.
Left-handed batsman Dawid Malan has now been named as the replacement for Stokes for the one-day internationals in Australia, the first match scheduled on January 14 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Malan has impressed in the third Test against the Aussies, scoring 140 at the WACA ground in Perth, despite England ending up on the losing side.
The 30-year-old has had a good outing on home turf in limited overs cricket, amassing 78 runs off 44 balls on T20 debut vs South Africa at Cardiff last summer.
With him already accustomed to conditions Down Under and being on form, ECB adjudged him the ideal candidate to fill the void left by exclusion of Stokes.
Stokes’ absence saw Steven Finn and Tom Curran [both bowlers] given the chance to prove at the highest level, but a change of outlook after pointers from Joe Root and Eoin Morgan, prompted the board to include an additional batsman, with bowling options being aplenty.
The delay in decision from the authorities regarding the fate of Stokes has put the beleaguered star’s career on an unexpected hold for the time being.
The 26-year-old, meanwhile, has been keeping sharp, playing in New Zealand in Canterbury colours.
However, inspite of awaiting the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service, as well as the ECB disciplinary committee, Stokes has been granted permission to enter the Indian Premier League auction next month.
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