Image courtesy of: Zimbio
All-rounder Ben Stokes has been drafted into England’s squad for the third Test against India in Nottingham, which begins on Saturday.
Stokes’ inclusion comes after he was found not guilty of affray at Bristol Crown Court.
Stokes missed the second Test at Lord’s due to his trial, but played a crucial role in leading England to a 31-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston as he took six wickets, including three in the morning on the final day.
Chris Woakes replaced Stokes for the second Test and picked up the Man of the Match award for scoring a career-best 137 not out and snapping up four wickets.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow was thrilled to have Stokes back in the squad ahead of the third Test, and, as quoted by ESPNcricinfo, told Sky Sports: “I’m delighted for him, and hopefully we can see him back in an England shirt very, very soon because we saw the impact that he had at Edgbaston only a couple of weeks ago in the first Test match.
“We’re here to concentrate on the cricket and I’m sure that’s what he’ll want to get back to as soon as possible.”
Despite being found not guilty of affray, Stokes may still be sanctioned by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
The board is set to convene a Cricket Discipline Commission, which will decide whether Stokes and opening batsman Alex Hales, who was also present during the physical altercation that took place outside Mbargo nightclub last September, should be punished.
“Now that the legal proceedings have concluded, the disciplinary process for Ben Stokes and Alex Hales can be scheduled by the Cricket Discipline Commission [CDC],” the ECB said in a statement. “Ben Stokes will now join the England squad for the 3rd Specsavers Test against India, which starts at Trent Bridge on Saturday.
“Considerable detail has been heard in this week-long court case and, in due course, there will be a range of matters for the Board to fully consider.”
England’s Squad for the third Test: Joe Root (capt), Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Moeen Ali, Jamie Porter, Ben Stokes.