Ben Stokes returns to face New Zealand in opening ODI

England have been boosted by the inclusion of Ben Stokes for the 50-over clash with the Black Caps at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes   -  Getty Images

Star all-rounder Ben Stokes will make his long-awaited comeback Sunday after being named in England's side to face New Zealand in the first one-day international.

Stokes has been absent from the international arena since a late-night incident outside a Bristol nightclub during England's ODI series with West Indies last September.

The 26-year-old – who missed the Ashes series in Australia but played briefly in New Zealand's domestic 50-over tournament amid uncertainty over his participation – pleaded not guilty to a charge of affray last week and has been released on bail, with his case sent to Bristol Crown Court, where he is not required to attend the first hearing March 12.

It has allowed Stokes to resume his international career as he returns to face the Black Caps in Hamilton.

Stokes was named in Eoin Morgan's team for the first of five ODIs after New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bowl first at Seddon Park.

In 62 ODI appearances, Stokes has scored 1,650 runs – including 10 fifties and three hundreds – at an average of 35.10, while he has claimed 53 wickets.


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