Sports

Ashes exile Ben Stokes fails with bat for Canterbury

Ashes exile Ben Stokes fails with bat for Canterbury

The 26-year-old Stokes was omitted from the England touring party to Australia for the Ashes and remains suspended pending the outcome of a police investigation into an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

The Cumbrian flew to New Zealand, the place of his birth, earlier in the week and signed as an overseas player for Canterbury on Thursday.

Stokes - suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) when footage of the incident emerged - was released without charge having been detained following an alleged fight with two men outside of a bar, while police refereed his case to the Crown Prosecution Service for "charging advice".

Stokes scored two with a pull before he was bowled via an inside edge playing back to slow left-armer Anaru Kitchen at the Mainpower Oval.

A clatter of wickets saw Otago collapse from 175 without loss to 198 for seven, but Stokes ended with figures of nought for 49 off nine overs. Canterbury coach Gary Stead said: "It's just general stiffness".

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On Stokes's performance he added: "If anything he tried too hard".

The all-rounder played a NZ domestic one-dayer for Canterbury and is expected to feature in another game for them in Auckland on Wednesday. It was expected he was going to be a little bit rusty.

United Kingdom police have finalised their investigation into the fight with prosecutors now deciding whether to charge England's vice-captain.

With a decision not to be made for several weeks, Stokes seems unlikely to play in England's current Ashes series in Australia.


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