Published: Fri, January 19, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Ben Stokes is cleared by the European Central Bank for England selection

Ben Stokes is cleared by the European Central Bank for England selection

Ben Stokes is to make a dramatic return to global cricket after the European Central Bank board voted narrowly in favour of lifting his suspension while he awaits trial for affray.

The Daily Telegraph, a British daily, however, claimed that Stokes has been allowed to resume his cricket career as the European Central Bank feared being sued for restraint of trade if he remained on suspension indefinitely.

That coincides with the first of England's T20 fixtures in New Zealand, when Stokes was potentially in line to return.

In a statement published on its website, the ECB said: "The ECB board has agreed that Ben Stokes should now be considered for England selection".

The ECB said it "would not be fair, reasonable or proportionate" for Stokes to remain unavailable.

Stokes was charged along with two other men on Monday in relation to an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

Many have been critical of the European Central Bank after they immediately announced Stokes would once again become available for England hot on the heels of him being charged by the CPS.

"I'm extremely delighted to be given this opportunity to do this again", he said.

Avon and Somerset Police said Thursday that two men, who have also been charged in the same incident, will appear with Stokes at Bristol Magistrates' Court.

"He hasn't played any cricket for a little while so it was basically my thought that he should start in New Zealand".

Earlier, Stokes had issued a statement thanking those who had continued to support him.

"I gave a full and detailed account of my actions to the police on day one - the same day as the incident - and have co-operated at each step of the police inquiry". "From our point of view here we have just been concentrating on playing cricket, without him to begin with, but everyone involved here with the squad, and the coaches, are very happy that he is now available again", Bayliss concluded.

Ben Stokes hits out for England during a limited-overs match.

After being arrested in September, Stokes missed the entirety of the Ashes with the police investigation ongoing, despite being named in the squad; he was also included in the ODI squad to play Australia, before being replaced.

England are understood to be keen for Stokes to rejoin Canterbury in order to finalise preparations for his return away from the spotlight.

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