Ben Stokes fails with the bat in return to top-flight cricket for Canterbury in New Zealands

3 December 2017 12:35 AM

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England all-rounder Ben Stokes has scored just two runs for Canterbury before being bowled in his return to top-flight cricket.

Stokes, batting No.4 for Canterbury in New Zealand's domestic one-day competition, faced seven balls in six minutes before he was bowled by Otago's Anaru Kitchen in Rangiora.

Christchurch-born Stokes hasn't played for England since an incident in Bristol on September 25 which left a man with a fractured eye socket.

The England and Wales Cricket Board placed him under suspension but the ban applies only to England matches and it has raised no objection to Stokes playing in New Zealand.

The 26-year-old signed a contract with Canterbury earlier in the week, further fuelling speculation he could return in the Ashes.

Stokes is yet to break his silence regarding the brawl outside the Bristol nightclub.

The cricketer will be gagged throughout his stint with Canterbury, after a request from his legal team.

UK police recently finalised an investigation into the incident and prosecutors must decide whether to charge England's vice-captain.

The England and Wales Cricket Board reiterated on Thursday it would not finalise Stokes' punishment, nor let the vice-captain play internationals, until a decision is made on charges.

Also read: As it happened: Ashes cricket: Third Test, Perth, day one

Source: theage.com.au

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