India tour of England 2018
All-rounder Ben Stokes has been added to the England Test squad for the third Test match against India at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. After a week-long trial, Bristol Crown Court has acquitted Stokes as he was found not guilty of affray.
Stokes played a key role in England’s victory in the first Test match at Edgbaston. He picked up four wickets including Virat Kohli in the second innings at Edgbaston to help England win the Test match by 31 runs. Later, he missed the second Test match at Lord’s due to his court trial.
Chris Woakes was recalled to the Test side for the second Test match at Lord’s in place of Ben Stokes and went on to earn the ‘Player of the Match’ award with his brilliant all-round performance. He picked up 4 wickets in the match and scored an unbeaten 137* in the only innings England batted at Lord’s.
On the other hand, England are yet to decide on whether to consider Ben Stokes and Alex Hales for the International matches! Both players were out after midnight especially in the middle of an ODI series against West Indies.
“Now that the legal proceedings have concluded, the disciplinary process for Ben Stokes and Alex Hales can be scheduled by the Cricket Discipline Commission [CDC],” said the ECB in a statement.
It is expected that England might not include Ben Stokes in the playing XI of the Nottingham Test. However, if they decide otherwise, they might drop either Ollie Pope or Jos Buttler.
Meanwhile, Ben Stokes solicitor Paul Lunt has put forward the amount of games that Ben missed due to the midnight Brawl. Stokes was not considered for the Ashes series in Australia last year and he missed many limited overs games as well.
“In addition to the extreme stress placed on Ben and his family by the trial, his intervention that night has already cost Ben the England vice-captaincy, his place on an Ashes tour, and his place in a number of other England matches,” said Paul Lunt.
England won both the first two Test matches against India and are currently leading the five match series by 2-0. The third Test match of the series will be played starting from Saturday (Aug 18) at Trent Bridge.
England’s squad for the Third Test match: Joe Root (c), Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Moeen Ali, Jamie Porter, Ben Stokes.
** Photo credits to Evening Standard