New Zealand-born England cricket star Ben Stokes is a target for media as he arrives in Christchurch on Wednesday.
New Zealand-born England cricket star Ben Stokes is a target for media as he arrives in Christchurch on Wednesday. Mark Baker

Prosecutors hold key to Stokes' fate

BEN Stokes' possible participation in the Ashes series appears to be in the hands of British prosecutors who have received a file from police on the investigation into the late-night incident that has sidelined the England cricketer.

Avon and Somerset Police said in a statement they had "passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service” and were "seeking charging advice”.

Stokes was arrested in late September on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm after video footage emerged showing him throwing punches in a street fight outside a nightclub.

Dropped from the England squad and suspended from playing for his country, Stokes also faces a disciplinary inquiry by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) once the police investigation is concluded.

Speculation is rife, however, the all-rounder could be called into the England squad for the third Test in Perth, which starts on December 16, after his arrival in New Zealand this week.

The ECB has given the 26-year-old permission to play in NZ's domestic competition this weekend and the NZ cricket board is expected to sign off on the arrangement.

He is likely to take the field for Canterbury on Sunday against Otago in Rangiora.

If no police charges are laid against Stokes, the ECB will convene an emergency board meeting within 48 hours and could potentially agree on a backdated ban that allows him to play in Perth.



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