Stokes in England squad for Australia ODIs, but his availability remains unclear

Ebony Scott
December 8, 2017

Ben Stokes has been named in England's 16-man squad for their five-match ODI series against Australia following the Ashes.

Though the 28-year-old's worldwide suspension has been lifted temporarily pending the outcome of Stokes's legal case - both of their cricket disciplinary hearings will not take place until after such time - Trevor Bayliss has said Hales will still have to earn a recall to the XI.

Alex Hales has also earned a call-up, with the opener available for selection once again after police confirmed he will not face criminal charges over his involvement in the Bristol incident that saw Stokes arrested.

'From my point of view, and I haven't spoken to Morgs [Eoin Morgan] about it, but the two openers we had did very well and it would be hard to go against them, ' said Bayliss.

"We could bring Hales back in and drop one of those guys down, but then it would upset someone else. If it happens, let's just get on with it and take it on the chin", concluded the English coach.

Bayliss admitted some consideration was given to leaving Stokes out altogether for the sake of plans not chopping and changing but, as has already been the case on this Ashes tour, there is an acceptance that whenever he does return "it is going to be a bit of a circus".

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All-rounder Stokes is now playing for Canterbury in New Zealand after he was declared unavailable for England selection in the aftermath of the September 25 fracas outside a night club in Bristol during the limited-overs series against Windies.

"For him to get miles into his legs as a bowler - given that he could potentially come back quickly - is a good decision".

It was an improved performance from the left-hander in Auckland, though, as he struck four boundaries in a 41-ball innings of 34 at Eden Park but, as on his Canterbury debut, spin proved his downfall as he was trapped lbw. England now deficiet in the Ashes series 2-0.

Australia will host England in the first of five-match One-Day International (ODI) series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on January 14.

National selector James Whitaker said: "With around 18 months to the start of the 2019 World Cup, our ODI side continues to make solid progress with series wins over the West Indies and South Africa last summer and a semi-final berth in the Champions Trophy". There were murmurs within the camp that senior players including Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Bairstow would be rested for the ODIs but Bayliss meant to hold on to the core in preparation for the 2019 World Cup.

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