Ben Stokes has tuned up for his return to professional cricket this weekend with a first net for his new club Canterbury Kings.
Stokes, still waiting to hear if he will be charged by police after being arrested over a late-night fracas in Bristol in September, is due to play for Canterbury against Otago in New Zealand’s Ford Trophy 50-over domestic competition.
Avon & Somerset Police have passed their file to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on whether to charge Stokes.
The all-rounder’s prospects of joining England mid-series in this winter’s Ashes may hinge on that decision.
While his international team-mates were beginning day one of the inaugural pink-ball Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval, Stokes joined the Christchurch-based Kings in training – having flown to his native New Zealand and then signed on as an overseas player this week.
He gave a brief TV interview, quoted on Cricket Australia’s website, in which he said: “It was the first time I have met quite a few of (my new team-mates) today.
“But it was nice to know a few faces – a few of the young guys came over to Durham as part of the exchange programme.
“It was nice, because it can be hard coming to a new team.
“I hope I can get out there, do well, and contribute to Canterbury winning.”