Ben Stokes has expressed his delight at being able to resume the “honour” of playing for England after he was made available for selection, following a meeting of the ECB Board, despite being charged with affray on Monday in relation to the incident outside a Bristol nightclub on September 25.
Stokes, who was charged along with two other men, is due to appear at Bristol Magistrates Court to at a date still to be confirmed. He had been withdrawn from England duty after the incident in September, which followed an ODI against West Indies in the city, and missed the end of that series plus the recent Ashes and the five-match ODI series in Australia.
However, he has now been cleared to return to action for the T20 Tri-Series against Australia and New Zealand that gets underway in February.
On Wednesday evening, Stokes responded to the development on Twitter saying he “can’t wait” to get back on the field for England although his exact return could yet depend on the date of his initial court appearance.
“Representing my country is one of the greatest things that I’ve ever been lucky enough to do, walking out on to the field with the England shirt on is a privilege and a honour,” Stokes tweeted. “I’m extremely delighted to be given this opportunity to do this again. I can’t wait to get back out on a pitch with the 3 Lions on my chest and feeling that pride that we all get and giving everything for the team.”
An ECB statement said: “Following a full Board discussion, in which all considerations were taken into account, the ECB Board has agreed that Ben Stokes should now be considered for England selection