Stokes on his way to New Zealand to play cricket

Stokes on his way to New Zealand to play cricket

The 26-year-old, who has been suspended since he was arrested after being involved in a fight outside a Bristol nightclub in September, was seen at London's Heathrow Airport today sparking speculation he was on his way to Australia to the England side.

"I'll be sat at home watching and following the lads in the hope they do really well", Stokes said in a video.

There were already indications from the European Central Bank that Stokes will be free to play for the Kings against Otago Volts in the Ford Trophy 50-over competition on Sunday, by the time his prospective New Zealand employers issued a statement confirming "initial informal discussions". He has not played cricket since then, and the European Central Bank has confirmed Stokes will not join the Ashes tour until the police investigation is complete.

Reports from The Times of United Kingdom claim the 26-year-old has been given clearance from the English Cricket Board (ECB) to play in the Ford Trophy, which gets underway on Sunday. However, we understand he and his representatives have been in discussions with Canterbury.

Canterbury Cricket have been approached for comment but have not responded to RNZ's requests.

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Stokes' presence in the Canterbury team would boost ticket sales. "We've got a pretty young team here and to play alongside a premium world all-rounder would be great for them too".

England suffered a 10-wicket loss in Brisbane, with the second Test beginning in Adelaide on Saturday.

Though he was initially named in the Ashes squad, he was subsequently told he would not be selected by England "until further notice". "We're in the same situation as we have been for quite a long time now". "We're relatively clear in our minds what the procedure is from here and the start is the police coming out with their charging decision and, until that happens, we can't move forward".

His progress does not yet appear to be spooking the opposition too much, though.

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