fter pleading not guilty to affray in Bristol Magistrates’ Court, the 26-year-old Ben Stokes landed in New Zealand to finally rejoin his England team on Friday, since he appeared before the court.
He has landed in Auckland where he will finally continue his career in England team several months after an incident happened late night and he got out of the Ashes. In Auckland, Stokes landed at 3.20pm local time (2.20am GMT) all the way from Heathrow, via Melbourne and Abu Dhabi.
He was greeted by Wales Cricket Board and England officials and took drive for 70 miles to the team’s hotel located in Hamilton. He pleaded not guilty to a charge of affray at the court.
Stokes will have trial at Bristol Crown Court in order to attend and prepare for the event. He can miss the next hearing for now on March 12 and he will play some Test this winter as well. For 26-year-old, the plan is to head to Hamilton a few days in advance before the rest of players like Moeen Ali and Joe Root. At Seddon Park, England trained the indoors on Friday morning. It means Stokes won’t have any chance to join in until Saturday with practice at the earliest.
It seems to be no chance for Stokes to play against New Zealand after 24 hours and England is keen to ease the player back in and check his condition before they send him back in the competitive environment.
Instead, the focus of Stokes will be to push for selection for ODI against New Zealand which will be starting from February 25. Stokes will wait for his trial date with interest with his appointment for £1.4m for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL after the hot on the heels of his tour to New Zealand.
There is also a chance the trial may take place after the English summer which is going to leave the take hanging over him and the team for all the year round but would improve their chances on field against India and Pakistan.
According to Trevor Bayliss, England coach, he is waiting to get back to do what he does his best. He added, “I feel there have been the players who have had issues off the field and some of these guys can put the same aside and reflect on cricket. Ben is one of these people.”
Stokes was so anxious to play his role in the Ashes which will be another flight he took on his birthplace this winter after he turned out in the hope of early comeback for Canterbury. His teammates have instead kept on struggling without him.