August 15, 2018
| On 11 months ago

Ben Stokes added to England squad after being cleared of affray

By Chaitanya Laxman

After getting cleared from the charges of affray Ben Stokes has been added to the England team for the third Test.

It seems that everything is going well for Ben Stokes. The English all-rounder was being cleared of affray by the court on Tuesday and is now added to the England squad which will face India in the third Test.

The original 13-man squad announced by England didn’t include Ben Stokes and ECB had stated that the team management would consider Stokes’ situation after the trial is concluded. The jury at the Bristol crown court on Tuesday ruled Stokes as not guilty over the charge for affray. This verdict also cleared the way for Stokes to play international cricket.

Soon after the verdict from the court, ECB drafted Stokes in the Test squad which means Stokes will return to international cricket from August 18.

The England all-rounder had to miss the second Test due to the trail and was initially not the part of the team for the third Test. Now after his return, the England team looks even stronger. But the more important question is whom will Stokes replace?

Chris Woakes who was drafted in the team as a replacement for Stokes bagged the man-of-the-match award courtesy of an exceptional all-around performance. This performance has guaranteed him a place in the team for the third Test.

So Joe Root and the team management will have a difficult time to bring back Stokes in the playing XI. Most probably Stokes will replace Jos Butler whose contribution with the bat has been poor or Adil Rashid whose leg-spin bowling hasn’t proved to be much effective.

Although the court has cleared Stokes from the charges, he will have to face the wrath of ECB’s disciplinary committee which refrains any player from indulging in any such acts when offering their services to the ECB.

Stokes already missed out on plenty of international cricket in the last year including the crucial Ashes Test series. It is to been seen how ECB handles this issue and punishes Stokes who has been an integral part of England’s team in all formats.

Chaitanya Laxman