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Stokes flying to New Zealand, not Adelaide Oval, England says

29 November 2017

Christchurch-born Stokes, under police investigation in Britain, is on his way to New Zealand to visit family, raising speculation he could play in the domestic competition before joining the England Ashes squad.

However, it seems the suspension is only for worldwide cricket and Stokes is free to play in New Zealand's domestic competition.

They would probably give Stokes 24 hours to recover from his flight before trying to contact him, Curwin said.

The England Cricket Board was quick to issue a statement confirming that Stokes was not heading for Australia to reinforce the squad that lost the first Ashes test by 10 wickets in Brisbane.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed Stokes was making "a private trip to New Zealand to spend time with his family".

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"Canterbury Cricket said in a statement: "(We) have been in initial informal discussions with Ben Stokes' representatives regarding his potential availability".

Stokes was arrested for his part in an incident outside a Bristol nightclub following England's third one-day worldwide victory against West Indies. His travel has not been arranged by the European Central Bank.

However, it is understood that after being arrested and then released "under investigation", Stokes is free to travel and leave the country. He was given a non-objection certificate by the European Central Bank last week to play domestic cricket although he remains under suspension from the England team.

"He is not on his way to the Ashes, England Lions or any other official training camps with the England set-up".

Perth, the venue of the third Ashes Test on December 14, is about an eight-hour flight from New Zealand, putting the all-rounder within easy reach should he be cleared to join the team.

Stokes flying to New Zealand, not Adelaide Oval, England says