Stokes to join England squad after court appearance

Ben Stokes will appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court on February 13, the day he was expected to face New Zealand in Wellington.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes   -  Getty Images

Ben Stokes will not join up with the England squad in New Zealand until after he appears in Bristol Magistrates' Court to answer an affray charge on February 13.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last week revealed that the all-rounder is clear to resume his international career and was due to fly to New Zealand ahead of the Twenty20 matches against the Black Caps next month.

It appeared the Stokes comeback would come against his country of birth at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on February 13, but Avon and Somerset Police announced last Thursday that is the date the England Test vice-captain is due in court.

Stokes was charged with one count of affray in relation to an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

The 26-year-old tweeted on Monday: "As has been confirmed in the media a first hearing date at court has been set for 13th February.

"In the circumstances, I have decided that it would not be right to join my team-mates until after attending court on the 13th."

Stokes, who has not featured for his country since his arrest, could feature in the T20 against New Zealand at Seddon Park on February 18, which is followed by a five-match one-day international series and two Tests.

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