Ben Stokes to be part of club cricket in New Zealand

Updated: Dec 01, 2017, 12:30 IST | AFP

Suspended England all-rounder Ben Stokes signed with New Zealand provincial side Canterbury yesterday morning, fuelling speculation he is preparing for a dramatic Ashes call-up

Suspended England all-rounder Ben Stokes signed with New Zealand provincial side Canterbury yesterday morning, fuelling speculation he is preparing for a dramatic Ashes call-up. The 26-year-old inked a deal just a day after arriving in the country for a trip English cricket officials initially had said was simply a family visit.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes

Canterbury said in a statement that Stokes had signed as the team's overseas player and would be eligible for a one-day match against Otago on Sunday. "While Ben awaits the outcome of an investigation underway in the UK, he wants to maintain his fitness and his connection with the game," coach Gary Stead said. Canterbury chief executive Jez Curwin played down any link to Stokes' Ashes ambitions. "Having spent time with Ben we are very comfortable that he wants to come to play for Canterbury for all the right reasons and get back on the park," he said. "The Ashes series is an obvious connection, however that has not been a consideration for us or Ben at this time, he is just keen to be able to work again."

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