England all-rounder Ben Stokes is all set to miss the third Test against India at Trent Bridge irrespective of the outcome of his affray trial at Bristol Crown Court.
According to the reports in The Telegraph, Stokes’ trial continues on Monday and is not expected to conclude until Wednesday, 24 hours after England are likely to announce their squad for the third Test.
Even if Stokes is cleared from all the charges, he might be too drained to feature in the Trent Bridge Test, scheduled to commence from Saturday (August 18).
Moreover, Stokes is also facing a cricket discipline case which has been put on hold because of the criminal proceedings. Reports suggest that as soon as his trial ends the cricket discipline process will begin within 48 hours. The eventual verdict is likely to come within a week although any decision will be approved by a full meeting of the ECB’s board.
The extent of any potential ban will be decided by the board and may bear in mind the fact that Stokes has already missed the Ashes series in Australia.
Meanwhile, England thrashed India by an innings and 159 runs in the second Test at Lord’s with Stokes’ replacement Chris Woakes making a huge impact. While Woakes claimed four wickets in the match, he scored an unbeaten 137 in England’s only innings.
“Ben is a huge part of this squad and he was missed not being here this week but what it did do was create an opportunity for Chris to perform,” England captain Joe Root said after the match.
“In that respect it is nice to see guys taking opportunities and that is something we want to harness as a team and it is an example to the guys on edge of the team that when you get your chance make it as hard as possible to leave you out. It is a great headache for us to have going into next week,” he added.
With England going 2-0 up in the series and Woakes’ putting in a stellar all-round show, the rush to bring Stokes back in the side has certainly also reduced.