Ben Stokes to be considered for England selection, confirms ECB

Ben Stokes has been cleared to return to the England side © Getty

The England and Wales Cricket Board through a media release confirmed that Ben Stokes will be considered for selection for England following CPS’s decision to charge him with affray in a Bristol nightclub incident in September last year.

“Following a full Board discussion, in which all considerations were taken into account, the ECB Board has agreed that Ben Stokes should now be considered for England selection,” the board said in a statement.

Stokes had been charged with affray in relation to an incident in Bristol last September, the Crown Prosecution Service announced on Monday (January 15). He was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm following an incident outside Bristol nightclub, Mbargo, on September 25, 2017 which left one man in hospital.

Stokes, subsequently, missed the last two matches of the one-day series against Windies and was also ruled out of the Ashes after the ECB said they would not select the all-rounder “until further notice”.

Both the CPS and Avon and Somerset Police confirmed on Monday that Stokes and two other men had been charged following a six week review of the case by the CPS. They added that the trio will appear at Bristol Magistrates’ Court at a later date. Convictions for affray can carry either financial or custodial penalties of varying severities.

“Given the CPS decision to charge him and two others with affray, confirmation of his intention to contest the charge and the potential length of time to trial, the Board agreed that it would not be fair, reasonable or proportionate for Ben Stokes to remain unavailable for a further indeterminate period,” ECB’s statement read.

“To date, Stokes has been unavailable for selection throughout the Police and CPS process around the incident in Bristol in September, a period which has included One-Day Internationals against West Indies, the Ashes tour and the start of the ODI series against Australia.

“ECB fully respects the legal process and the player’s intention to defend himself against the charge. England Selectors, management and players have been informed and Ben Stokes is expected to join the squad in New Zealand for February’s T20 matches.”