Eoin Morgan welcomes Ben Stokes' return to cricket

06 December 2017 11:54

England one-day captain Eoin Morgan has welcomed Ben Stokes' return to cricket in New Zealand as a "good decision".

Stokes is unavailable for the current Ashes series in Australia as he still waits to hear whether the Crown Prosecution Service advises police to charge him or not following his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

But the England all-rounder is playing again, for Canterbury Kings in New Zealand's Ford Trophy competition, and Morgan believes that is a wise move as Stokes waits on the decision over the late-night fracas in Bristol in September.

Alex Hales will face no criminal charges over the same Bristol incident and can expect to be selected when England announce their squad for the limited-overs leg of their Australia trip on Wednesday night.

Morgan said: "Alex is definitely clear to play and regarding Ben, we are still waiting to see what happens.

"He is obviously getting cricket under his belt which is a really good decision.

"He has started to hit balls this week and there is only so much you can get indoor, banging bowling machine balls.

"But for him as an all-rounder to get miles under his leg as a bowler - given that he could potentially come back quickly - personally to look after his own body is a good decision."

Stokes again struggled to make an impact for Canterbury after scoring just two and going wicketless on his debut on Sunday.

He m ade 34 from 41 balls and failed to take a scalp as Canterbury fell to a seven-wicket defeat to Auckland on Wednesday.

Asked whether Stokes would be available for the start of the ODI series in Australia on January 14, Morgan replied: "We just don't know and I don't think anybody does.

"There is an investigation going on and it is in the hands of police.

"But it is going to be a really exciting series. Australia is a tough place to tour no matter what format you are playing in and given where we are at with 50-over cricket it is a great time to tour there.

"It is a good time to expose some of our mistakes.

"I would rather know what they are now and try to fix it rather than having a free run for quite a while and then have to rectify anything at the last minute ahead of the World Cup."

Morgan has become a one-day specialist for England in recent times, both in 50-over and Twenty20 cricket.

The 31-year-old Irishman played the last of his 16 Tests nearly six years ago and he does not expect to represent England in the long format of the game again.

"I don't see me playing Test cricket ever again," Morgan said.

"My focus is solely on the 2019 World Cup and everything is being driven into that at the moment.

"It is nice you don't have to chop and change in between formats.

"I would obviously love to play Test match cricket but that is never going to happen."

::Eoin Morgan was speaking on behalf of Royal London as they marked two more years of sponsorship of one-day cricket.

Source: PA