Trevor Bayliss will not rush Ben Stokes back into England ODI side

by Theguardian

Cricket
• England coach says all-rounder unlikely to play in first ODI of series• ‘We’ll have to see how he is with travel, with practice,’ says Bayliss

Trevor Bayliss has welcomed the return of Ben Stokes but confirmed he is unlikely to play in England’s first ODI of the New Zealand series. He has been practising over the winter but the all-rounder’s last competitive match was on 22 December in New Zealand’s domestic T20 competition for Canterbury against Central Districts.

Stokes will be tried for affray after pleading not guilty on Tuesday to the charge following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September. In a statement released on Tuesday the ECB backed Stokes’ decision to defend himself in court and confirmed he will not be required to return to the UK for the first hearing at Bristol Crown Court on 12 March. The date falls after the fifth and final ODI on 10 March, during preparations for the first Test which begins on 22 March.

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