Ben Stokes: England all-rounder set to return for ODI against New Zealand

England all-rounder Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes' return means one of Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales or Jason Roy is likely to dropped
New Zealand v England, first ODI
Venue: Hamilton Date: Sunday, 25 February at 01:00 GMT
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW, BBC Sport website and app. Live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website and app

All-rounder Ben Stokes is set to return to the England team for Sunday's one-day international against New Zealand in Hamilton after a five-month absence.

Durham's Stokes, 26, has not played for England since an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

He travelled to New Zealand after being bailed when he appeared in court on 13 February on a charge of affray.

"He was very fit when he arrived. He has continued to train hard," said England captain Eoin Morgan.

"We are expecting him to be fit to play. We'd like to manage his progression probably throughout the series, but that will depend on how his body pulls up."

Stokes missed the recent Ashes series, which hosts Australia won 4-0, and a Twenty20 tri-series that also involved New Zealand.

England are preparing to play five one-day internationals and two Tests against New Zealand.

The first hearing of Stokes' trial is scheduled for Monday, 12 March at Bristol Crown Court, although he is not required to return to the UK to attend it.

In a statement posted on Twitter after he was charged, he said he was "keen to have an opportunity to clear my name".

While not considered for England selection, Stokes played six domestic matches for Canterbury Kings in New Zealand.

His return is expected to result in Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales or Jason Roy being dropped from the top of the batting order.

"It's a good problem to have but unfortunately one of them will probably miss out," said Morgan.

"Ben, if he can bowl, almost gives a safety net as a captain whether you think it is going to spin or seam around. It gives you plenty of options."

England in New Zealand in 2018
18 FebruaryTwenty20: New Zealand v England, Hamilton (06:00 GMT)
21 FebruaryT20 final: Australia v England or New Zealand, Auckland (06:00 GMT)
25 February1st ODI with New Zealand, Hamilton (d/n) (01:00 GMT)
28 February2nd ODI, Mount Maunganui (d/n) (01:00 GMT, moved from Napier)
3 March3rd ODI, Wellington (Westpac Stadium) (d/n) (01:00 GMT)
7 March4th ODI, Dunedin (22:00 GMT, 6 Mar)
10 March5th ODI, Christchurch (22:00 GMT, 9 Mar)
22-26 March1st Test, Auckland (d/n) (01:00 GMT)
30 March-3 April2nd Test, Christchurch (22:00 GMT, 29 Mar-2 Apr)

Ben Stokes timeline

25 September - Stokes and team-mate Alex Hales are involved in an incident at about 02:35 BST near Bristol's Mbargo club which left another man needing hospital treatment for facial injuries. Stokes is arrested by Avon and Somerset Police and released under investigation.

27 September - England include Stokes in their 16-man Ashes squad, despite him suffering a minor finger fracture on his right hand. Hales is not included.

27 September - The Sun newspaper releases footage that allegedly shows the incident involving Stokes and Hales.

28 September - The ECB announces Stokes and Hales will not be considered for selection for England matches until further notice.

11 October - Stokes loses his sponsorship deal with sportswear brand New Balance.

28 October - England fly out to Australia for the Ashes without Stokes.

23 November - England lose the first Ashes Test against Australia by 10 wickets in Brisbane.

27 November - The ECB issues a statement denying Stokes is joining England's squad after a picture is posted on Twitter which it is said shows him at Heathrow Airport.

29 November - Stokes arrives in New Zealand to play for Canterbury Kings.

29 November - Avon & Somerset Police announce they have completed their investigation and have sent their findings to the Crown Prosecution Service.

4 December - It is announced Hales will not face criminal charges, and the ECB says he is available for selection.

6 December - Stokes is named in England's one-day squad for the five-match series against Australia in the new year.

23 December - Stokes ends his spell with Canterbury and returns to England.

11 January - Stokes is named in England's Test squad for the tour of New Zealand in March and April.

15 January - Stokes is charged with affray.

13 February - Stokes granted unconditional bail during appearance at Bristol Magistrates' Court.

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