Will Ben Stokes be England saviour?

With the news that Ben Stokes will not know if he is facing charges for ABH for several weeks, perhaps until after the Ashes, he could now feature Down Under.

The 26-year-old Durham all-rounder was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm after an incident in Bristol in September in which a man suffered a fractured eye socket.

Avon & Somerset Police announced on Wednesday it had completed its investigation and sent the findings to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Because of the incident, Stokes has not flown to Australia with the England squad in October for the current Ashes series as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said the player would not be selected “at this stage”.

However, with England hammered in the first test – speculation has intensified that they could look to include Stokes at some point. Stokes himself has flown to the other side of the world to New Zealand, where he is visiting family but also keeping fit by playing for local side Canterbury.

Stokes won’t be involved for the second test in Adelaide on Saturday – but defeat in Adelaide could see him involved.

PaddyPower are now offering 50/1 that Stokes could still be top run scorer for England in the Ashes series.

Spokesman Paddy Power said: “OK, so Stokes might not even play in the series, but that still wouldn’t leave him far behind his team-mates.

“Besides, I’m sure he’s due in Australia at some point anyway – I heard he’s got a cousin’s mate’s boyfriend’s colleague’s bar mitzvah anniversary to attend. Or something.”


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