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Ben Stokes: England all-rounder in talks with NZ side Canterbury

29 November 2017

Stokes, 26, remains the subject of a police investigation after a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub, with the England and Wales Cricket Board having declared it was waiting for that process to be finalised before deciding on any disciplinary measures.

There were already indications from the European Central Bank that Stokes will be free to play for the Kings against Otago Volts in the Ford Trophy 50-over competition on Sunday, by the time his prospective New Zealand employers issued a statement confirming "initial informal discussions".

Local cricket authorities say they're open-minded about New Zealand-born England star Ben Stokes turning out for Canterbury province while under suspension for the Ashes series in Australia.

Stokes was initially named in England's 16-man squad to tour Australia but was quickly stood down from worldwide duty following his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm in Bristol in September. However, we understand he and his representatives have been in discussions with Canterbury.

They would probably give Stokes 24 hours to recover from his flight before trying to contact him, Curwin said.

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The all-rounder wasn't included in England's Ashes squad due to an ongoing police investigation. "His travel arrangements have not been arranged by the European Central Bank", an ECB statement read.

Stokes was arrested after video footage purportedly showed England's test vice-captain throwing punches in a street fight after a night out celebrating England's win over the West Indies in a limited-overs worldwide.

He was arrested before being released without charge and police and the European Central Bank are both still investigating the incident.

Stokes moved to England with his parents as a 12-year-old after his New Zealand rugby league global father, Ged, took up a coaching job in Cumbria. He has not played cricket since then, and the European Central Bank has confirmed Stokes will not join the Ashes tour until the police investigation is complete.

The third Ashes Test begins in Perth on December 14, while England start a two-day tour game in the same city on December 9.

Ben Stokes: England all-rounder in talks with NZ side Canterbury