All-rounder Ben Stokes will make his return to the national side after being named in the 16-man squad for the Tri-series against Australia and New Zealand in February. Stokes' participation will depend on whether he is charged for his involvement in an altercation outside a nightclub in September.
Stokes, who was the most expensive player at the IPL auction last season as Rising Pune Supergiants ended up paying a whopping 14.5 crore for his signature, enjoyed a decent maiden IPL outing which included a quickfire ton and a 5-wicket haul over the course of the tournament in which his team made it all the way to the final of the competition.
He was seen as a long-term replacement for the ex-English all-rounder, Andrew Flintoff, but an inconsistent track record on the pitch and a victim of multiple scandals off it have blemished his reputation in the game. He has been on the sidelines ever since his involvement in an altercation outside a nightclub in Bristol last September. After initially being named in the England squad for the Ashes and the ODI series which followed later, he was withdrawn in the absence of a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
However, his name has been included in the 16-man squad for the upcoming T20 tri-series against Australia and New Zealand in February subject to any relevant legal or disciplinary charges in relation to the incident.
"Should the ECB Board receive formal confirmation that Stokes has either been charged or that he will face no charges, they would convene within 48 hours to make a decision on his availability for the team at that stage," the English cricket board said in an official statement.
All-rounder Mooen Ali, who has been short of form in the Ashes, and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow have been rested for the tournament, but Test-skipper Joe Root and promising all-rounder David Malan have both been included in the squad, which will be led by limited over captain Eoin Morgan.
The Tri-series cup is set to starts in Sydney on February 3 and concludes with the final in Auckland on February 21.