Ben Stokes will join England squad in New Zealand after the star all-rounder pleaded not guilty on Tuesday (February 13) to a charge of affray over a nightclub brawl that forced him out of the national team for last 5 months.
"Having entered his plea at Bristol Magistrates Court today, Ben Stokes will now travel to New Zealand to join the England squad," the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement.
The ECB also confirmed that Stokes, who was arrested on the charges of causing actual bodily harm to two men in the early hours of September 25 outside a Bristol nightclub, will leave for New Zealand on Wednesday (February 14).
"He departs tomorrow, Wednesday (February 14), and will arrive on Friday (February 16), ready to train with England team-mates in Hamilton," the ECB statement further read.
The decision to include him in upcoming matches would be made by the England management team.
"Any decision to include him in upcoming matches will be made by Head Coach Trevor Bayliss and the England management team. He is not currently being considered for the ongoing International T20 Tri-Series," added the statement.
Earlier in the day, Stokes appeared at the court in Bristol Magistrates' Court along with two other defendants Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale. All three had indicated they were acting in self-defence or defence of another during the nightclub altercation.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had already given Stokes the green signal to feature in the ongoing T20I tri-series despite the affray charge on him. The 26-year-old all-rounder is also due to play in the Indian Premier League for Rajasthan Royals after being given permission by ECB to sign a contract. The inaugural IPL champions roped in Stokes by expending INR 12.5 crores during the recently held IPL auction.
Subsequent to the Twenty20 Trans-Tasman tri-series, England will feature in a five-match one-day international series against New Zealand from February 25, followed by two Tests.