CRICKET chiefs have opened the door to Ben Stokes making a shock return to the England group and enjoying within the Ashes.
Stokes is presently banned over his arrest on suspicion of inflicting precise bodily hurt in a late-night brawl exterior a nightclub in Bristol.
However the ECB seem like softening their stance, with the police anticipated to announce this week whether or not Stokes will probably be charged.
The 26-year-old all-rounder has stayed at dwelling whereas the remainder of the England squad are in Australia making ready for the primary Ashes Check, which begins in Brisbane on November 23.
Stokes is ready to listen to if he will probably be charged after over the late-night fracas in Bristol on September 25, with a choice anticipated this week.
If he’s not charged by the police then the ECB’s disciplinary course of will kick in.
And the ECB have opened the door to the Durham star making an incredible return to the group by saying he might “rehabilitate his popularity on the sphere”.
ECB Tom Harrison mentioned: “We’ve to get that stability between censure and help completely proper.
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“Cricket’s response to this will show the value of the game in the best light.
“We will quickly recover to where the game is seen as doing its best to rehabilitate reputations on the field, and try to get Ben and Alex [Hales] back to where fans are really behind them.”
Stokes, who fractured the little finger of his right hand during the incident in Bristol, is training at indoor nets in case he is given a dramatic recall.
Vice-captain Stokes was initially named in England’s 16-man touring squad for the Test series, but was replaced by Steven Finn after The Sun’s exclusive video showed Stokes in a brawl.
Former Australia bowler Glenn McGrath said England will miss their “enforcer” if they are without Stokes for the entire tour.
“He’s an incredible player – he fills two spots in one,” Test Match Special pundit McGrath told BBC Radio 5 live.
“If he doesn’t come out, that’s a big loss to England. But he’s vice-captain, he can’t put himself in those positions. He’s got to realise that.
England’s Ashes Test schedule
Nov 23-27 First Test (Brisbane)
Dec 2-6 Second Test (Adelaide)
Dec 14-18 Third Test (Perth)
Dec 26-30 Fourth Test (Melbourne)
Jan 4-8 Fifth Test (Sydney)
“He’s an enforcer within the team and that’s fine on the field as long as it stays there.
“Who would be the enforcer in his shoes?”
Meanwhile, England fast bowler Stuart Broad said Stokes will still be an influence on the squad, even if he does not travel to Australia.
“We’ve still got his character within the group,” Broad said.
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“We’ve still got his characteristics of competitive sport, of arm round people that he’s done for years still in this group.
“Without sounding cheesy Ben Stokes is still here, we’ve still got part of him in this group whether he’s in Australia or not.”
England reached 278 for 8 on the opening day of their day-night warm-up game in Adelaide against a Cricket Australia XI.
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