Stokes 'not Australia-bound' after picture suggests Ashes call

Ben Stokes who flew into Christchurch on Wednesday is suspended from playing for England while police investigate his

Stokes was initially named in England's 16-man squad to tour Australia but was quickly stood down from worldwide duty following his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm in Bristol in September.

Canterbury Cricket Club chief executive Jeremy Curwin has confirmed that talks are underway with Ben Stokes's representatives over his availability to play domestic cricket in New Zealand.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes may be offered the chance to play for New Zealand-based Canterbury Cricket Club, with talks now ongoing.

There was widespread speculation on social media that he was heading to Australia after being pictured at the airport on Monday.

The England Cricket Board released a statement saying the maligned cricketer will instead travel to New Zealand where he'll spend time with his family. He was given a non-objection certificate by the European Central Bank last week to play domestic cricket although he remains under suspension from the England team.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said the former global was making a private trip to spend time with his family, but Canterbury have confirmed that they've entered into informal negotiations with the 26-year-old. "His travel arrangements have not been arranged by the European Central Bank", it said in a statement.

Ben Stokes is not on his way to join England's Ashes squad in Australia, Press Association Sport understands.

But England officials say that's not the case and they're still awaiting a police decision on whether Stokes will be charged over the Bristol incident.

Canterbury's next fixture is on Sunday, which is the second day of the second Ashes Test.

Stokes moved to England with his parents as a 12-year-old after his New Zealand rugby league worldwide father, Ged, took up a coaching job in Cumbria.



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