All-rounder Ben Stokes has been included in England's squad to play New Zealand in a one-day international series starting later this month, despite ongoing legal issues. New Zealand-born Stokes has been charged with affray over his involvement in a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub following an ODI against the West Indies in September.
In naming its 15-match squad for the five-match series on Thursday, the England and Wales Cricket Board said Stokes' involvement was subject to court obligations and his travel arrangements have yet to be confirmed.
Stokes is due to appear in the Bristol Magistrates Court on Feb. 13 and the first match of the New Zealand series is a day-night encounter at Hamilton on Feb. 25. The 26-year-old was previously named in England's squad for the Twenty20 tri-series against Australia and New Zealand but remained in England pending his court appearance. He has indicated he will defend the charge.
The only cricket Stokes has played since the Bristol incident was for New Zealand's Canterbury province in December. He played in New Zealand's domestic one-day and T20 competitions while visiting his mother and father, who live in Christchurch.
Meanwhile, Test captain Joe Root returns to the England squad for the New Zealand series after being rested for the T20 tri-series. Fast bowler Jake Ball and batsman Dawid Malan were omitted.
"Our ODI side has made good progress over the last two years and it's encouraging to see with the 2019 World Cup on the horizon," chairman of selectors James Whittaker said. "We're sure to encounter strong opposition in New Zealand but it's another opportunity for the team to test themselves and to continue playing entertaining cricket."
England beat Australia 4-1 in the recently-concluded five-match ODI series in Australia.
Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
(With AP Inputs)