England's Stokes to delay NZ arrival to attend court hearing

Joe Root

Joe Root will return for the five-match one-day series against New Zealand starting in Hamilton on 25 February

England Test captain Joe Root will miss the forthcoming Twenty20 tri-series against Australia and New Zealand. He will make a rapid return to the test team, who are struggling for consistency, but in one-day cricket England are strong and letting him wait for a -return would also send a message that he can not take his worldwide place for granted.

He will return home after Sunday's final ODI in Perth, before rejoining the England squad in New Zealand, where their five-match ODI series begins on February 25.

"I had every intention of playing that series but Trevor is mindful of it being a very long summer". It's going to be really important to make sure that I'm available for all of that.

The all-rounder's appearance at Bristol Magistrates' Court on an affray charge was set for the same day he was supposed to be making his global comeback in a Twenty20 match.

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The 26-year-old Stokes was charged last week after a lengthy investigation into an incident outside a Bristol nightclub last September.

Stokes averaged 31.60 with the bat at a strike rate of 142.99 and took 12 wickets in 12 matches for the Rising Pune Supergiants after they paid the tournament's highest fee ever for a foreign player. In the circumstances, I have decided that it would not be right to join my teammates until after attending court on the 13th'.

"He hasn't played any cricket for a little while either so it's basically my thought that he should probably start in New Zealand just to allow him a little bit of time to get up to speed".

It appeared the Stokes comeback would come against his country of birth at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on February 13, but Avon and Somerset Police announced last Thursday that is the date the England Test vice-captain is due in court.

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