England all-rounder Ben Stokes and opening batsman Alex Hales have been named in England's 16-man provisional squad for the upcoming ODI series against Australia. Hales is eligible for selection after he was cleared of the charges by the police, however that is not the case with Stokes. Although Stokes has been selected for the ODI series but he will play only if he is cleared by the police.
Stokes was involved in a brawl outside a pub in Bristol and has not been selected for England since then. He even missed out on a place in The Ashes as a result. England currently trail The Ashes 0-2.
Talking about the selection ECB in a statement said, “Selectors were given clear guidance to name their strongest squad and have made their selections accordingly."
“Both Alex Hales and Ben Stokes are included, though their involvement remains subject to any relevant legal or disciplinary developments in relation to the incident in Bristol in September.”
England coach Trevor Bayliss on Stokes' potential comeback said, “That's been discussed - but whenever he comes back it's going to be a bit of a circus for sure. Whether it's any more of a circus than it's already been, it's hard to say. If it happens, let's just get on with it and take it on the chin.”
Stokes is currently playing in New Zealand for Canterbury.
England squad for ODI series: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood