Published: Thu, November 30, 2017
Health Care | By Gwendolyn Kim

England hope to call on Ben Stokes in Perth

England hope to call on Ben Stokes in Perth

Stokes, who is waiting for the police to complete their investigations, flew to New Zealand on Monday, with the European Central Bank insisting he was making a "private trip to spend time with his family".

The Canterbury officials had a long board meeting in Christchurch on Wednesday evening to figure out the road ahead.

It's a hot topic of debate as to whether Stokes should be allowed to play in New Zealand, given he is sidelined from the Ashes series in Australia as police decide whether he will face charges for punching a man outside a Bristol pub.

The second of those Tests starts in Adelaide in the early hours of Saturday morning United Kingdom time, so he would still need to prove his fitness ahead of the third Test in Perth, which begins on December 14.

"As a player, as a friend, I'd like to see him here". No one likes to see what he's been through. "Ben is probably the best all-rounder in the world, or is very close to it at the moment".

"It's good news for the squad".

The board say they did not expect Stokes to fly out until later this week, though director of cricket Andrew Strauss gave no indication during a press briefing after England's 10-wicket defeat in Brisbane that he was on his way at all.

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Stokes, meanwhile, is in all likelihood going to turn out for Canterbury and could well be called up to the Ashes squad if England don't find a foothold in the series. Nothing beats playing cricket outdoors.

Canterbury have also confirmed that they are in talks with Stokes, and he is expected to be given the necessary clearance needed by the European Central Bank to feature for the New Zealand county. 'This wicket can go through - it was the quickest wicket in Australia a year ago, so hopefully that's a good sign for us'.

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.

Of course, the latest controversy to derail England's campaign has been the news of wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow's unique welcoming to Australian debutant Cameron Bancroft at a Perth nightclub.

His bowling will be invaluable on a quick and bouncy WACA track with huge doubts over the fitness of Anderson which could intensify by the time the series rolls into Western Australia; while his aggression in the middle order sorely needed to silence a Baggy Green attack only growing in confidence.

"They're a classy side, with a very exciting young captain, Joe Root", said Lyon, whose Australia side have four wins from four in day-night Test cricket. It's one of the unsafe periods when teams are far down or in turmoil.

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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