Ashes rumours as Ben Stokes spotted at Heathrow

Could Ben Stokes play a part in the Ashes after all?
Credit
David Hedges

While the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) played down the issue, saying Stokes was on a personal trip to New Zealand, a statement from Canterbury Cricket revealed that they have been in initial informal discussions with Stokes' representatives regarding his potential availability for Ford Trophy and Burger King Super Smash cricket.

Stokes is now suspended from playing for England following his arrest. But behind the scenes the provincial side Canterbury were holding a board meeting to decide whether to sign the suspended all-rounder on a short-term deal ahead of a possible comeback on Sunday.

Stokes was initially named in the England squad for the Ashes, but was left in the United Kingdom following his arrest after being involved in a late-night incident in Bristol during the series against the West Indies in September. But according to the Daily Mirror, he could to return to the England squad in time for the third Ashes Test in Perth, starting on 14 December. "As a player, as a friend". No one likes to see what he's been through.

"Ben's a world-class cricketer and he'd make any team in the world better".

"It's good news for the squad".

If he is cleared by the police, any ban handed down by the European Central Bank could be backdated to the matches that Stokes has already missed - two ODIs against Windies in September and the first two Ashes Tests.

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"The fact he's out there playing cricket [means] he's a little bit closer to Australia if that time was to come that he was able to join the squad". Nothing beats playing cricket outdoors.

Canterbury are understood to have been given permission by New Zealand Cricket to pick Stokes, with NZC taking the view that he has not been charged and must be allowed to pursue his livelihood. Because should England under-perform on a wicket which has bore them just two Test wins since 1982, outside noise will only be amplified and this series for England very quickly becomes about more of what happens away from the field than on it.

There will be divided opinions at European Central Bank board level, where the public image of English cricket is fretted over more greatly than a team simply desperate to defend the Ashes.

A midnight curfew has also been imposed on England's players after it emerged Jonny Bairstow was involved in a freaky incident with opponent Cameron Bancroft during a tour match in Perth, when the wicketkeeper-batsman greeted the Australian with a headbutt. It's one of the risky periods when teams are far down or in turmoil. It's been that long since I've been back here.

Alastair Cook was among the names listed by Lyon as threats and, after a concerning first Test that saw him nick off for two and then be suckered into a pull shot on seven in the second innings, the former captain netted alone at the ground during a rest day for England.

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