Internet Desk: England’s suspended star all-rounder Ben Stokes gets a new lifeline after he has been included in the nation’s ODI series squad against Australia which was picked on Thursday.
Stokes currently can’t play any international cricket as he is banned and the British police is investigating whether he was involved in a late-night fight outside Bristol nightclub, and it is still unclear whether he would play for the national side or not.
Beside him, star batsman Alex Hales too was in controversy in this matter. He too has been picked in the 16-men squad for the five-match ODI series, which will start on January 14 in Melbourne.
Selectors said in a statement they were advised to name their strongest squad, and picked the pair accordingly.
“Both Alex Hales and Ben Stokes are included, though their involvement remains subject to any relevant legal or disciplinary developments in relation to the incident in Bristol in September,” they said.
Coach Trevor Bayliss feels that Stokes selection in team for the ODI series against Australia could be a distraction for the team.
“Whenever he comes back that’s going to be a bit of a circus for sure,” he told reporters after England lost the second Test in Adelaide on Wednesday.
“Whether it’s any more of a circus than it’s already been, it’s hard to say. If it happens, let’s just get on with it and take it on the chin.”
He added: “We’ve got to adjust to that at some stage.”
Stokes could feature for the English team during the mid-way of the Ashes if the police authority don’t find him guilty.
British detectives late last month passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service for a decision, but there has been no word since.
“I’ve got absolutely no idea. Still waiting for the police report,” said Bayliss when asked if he expected Stokes to play in the Ashes.
The England Cricket Board said in their statement Thursday that once they receive formal confirmation on whether Stokes has been charged or not, they would meet within 48 hours to decide the next step.
“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.
“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.”
England one-day squad: Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jonathan 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.