Ben Stokes is cleared by the European Central Bank for England selection

Stokes charged with affray

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has since announced Stokes is available for selection and he could now feature in the tour of New Zealand that follows England's remaining limited-overs contests in Australia.

However, after the European Central Bank informed the England selectors of their decision, Stokes could make his global comeback against New Zealand on February 13, live on Sky Sports.

Most discussion this week centred on the ECB's handling of Stokes as the Crown Prosecution Service decided whether he would be charged after the incident outside a Bristol nightclub.

The 26-year-old has not played for England since the incident, missing out on the Ashes tour to Australia and selection for the start of the one-day series against Australia.

But Stokes has been given permission to return for England in the upcoming series against New Zealand, despite charges hanging over him.

'ECB fully respects the legal process and the player's intention to defend himself against the charge.

All-rounder Stokes, who has not played for England since the incident, will join the squad for the second half of a triangular Twenty20 series in New Zealand in February.

Stokes was charged, along with two other men, as a result of an incident in Bristol last September which left one man with a fractured eye socket.

Following the charge, the European Central Bank announced that they would hold a meeting and discuss whether Stokes should be eligible for selection.

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed that the all-rounder is due to make for a first appearance to answer an affray charge at Bristol Magistrates' Court on February 13.

Stokes had to miss the Ashes series after being suspended indefinitely the European Central Bank pending the outcome of a police investigation into the incident.

'The CPS decision to charge me, as well as Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, at least means that my account of what happened that night can come out in court and be made public.

After being charged, Stokes said he welcomed the chance to clear his name.

Earlier, Stokes had issued a statement thanking those who had continued to support him. "I will say it's a hard situation and a hard decision to make".

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