Ben Stokes and Alex Hales returns to England's ODI squad against Australia | Getty Images
Suspended England all-rounder Ben Stokes, on Thursday, included in England’s One Day squad for the five-match ODI series against Australia, starting from January 14 after the conclusion of the ongoing Ashes 2017-18.
Another Englishman Alex Hales, who was caught up in the same brawl during the Bristol incident along with Ben Stokes, also included into ODI squad for the five-match series against Australia.
Although, both players’ participation in the five-match ODI series is subject to any relevant legal or disciplinary developments in relation to the Bristol incident in September.
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The 26-year-old Stokes is currently awaiting outcome from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) over his brawl in Bristol, and due to which he could not take part in the ongoing Ashes series in Australia. At the moment, the all-rounder is playing for Canterbury in New Zealand’s domestic tournament.
As per Cricbuzz, the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement,“Selectors were given clear guidance to name their strongest squad and have made their selections accordingly. Both Alex Hales and Ben Stokes are included, though their involvement remains subject to any relevant legal or disciplinary developments in relation to the incident in Bristol in September.”
Meanwhile, England head coach Trevor Bayliss admitted that Stokes' probable appearance in Australia could be a distraction for the national side.
On being asked if he expected Stokes to play in the Ashes, Bayliss said, “I've got absolutely no idea. Still waiting for the police report. Whenever he comes back that's going to be a bit of a circus for sure.”
He concluded by saying, “Whether it's any more of a circus than it's already been, it's hard to say. If it happens, let's just get on with it and take it on the chin. We've got to adjust to that at some stage.”
England’s ODI Squad:
Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood