Eoin Morgan gives clarification on Ben Stokes’ comeback in the England team

Stokes hasn't played for England since September 2017.

Ben Stokes | Reuters

England’s limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan on Saturday (February 17) said that they will look to draft the mercurial all-rounder Ben Stokes into the playing XI after analyzing his fitness.

Morgan hinted that Stokes in all probability will miss Sunday's tri-series clash against New Zealand.

The 26-year-old was arrested on the charges of causing actual bodily harm to two men in the early hours of September 25 outside a Bristol nightclub. Earlier this week, 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 one another during the altercation.

Subsequently, Stokes flew to New Zealand to join his teammates on Wednesday (February 14).

"He's far from fit and he would run a huge risk of getting injured," Morgan told BBC Sport.

"He'll take a few days to adjust to everything and hopefully be fit for the start of the one-day series [which begins on February 25].

"It'll be a gauge, he hasn't played in competitive cricket for quite some time now, so if his body does react in a way which we feel might not be fit for the start we'll have no hesitation in easing him back in," he added.

Earlier last month, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had given Stokes the green signal to feature in the ongoing T20I tri-series despite the affray charge on him.

The Durham 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 Rajasthan Royals roped in Stokes by spending INR 12.5 crores on him during the recently held IPL 2018 auction.

By salman anjum - 17 Feb, 2018

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