Stokes returns home after Canterbury stint

Ben Stokes has concluded his spell with Canterbury and returned to the UK for Christmas. When Stokes flew to New Zealand last month, it sparked speculation that he could be involved in England’s Ashes campaign but, with the series lost and the CPS still determining whether to press charges against the allrounder for his part in a fight in September, that prospect is all but over.

Canterbury said that Stokes was leaving for “family reasons” and that he would always be welcome to return. Stokes played in three Ford Trophy matches, with scores of 2, 34 and 0 to go with one wicket, as well as three Super Smash games, one of which saw him hammer 93 off 47 balls.

“Ben has been great around the club, the team and the staff,” Canterbury CEO, Jez Curwin, said. “We can’t fault his attitude or his all-round contribution in his time with us and we are sorry that he couldn’t stay with us for longer but Ben knows that he will always find a welcome here should the opportunity arise for him to return.”

Stokes travelled to New Zealand to spend time with family – he was born in Christchurch and his parents live there – as well as gain some playing time while the police investigation into his night out in Bristol continued. Stokes was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and has not been considered for England selection since, although he was named in England’s one-day squad to face Australia next month.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed training and playing with Canterbury,” Stokes said. “Everyone here has gone out of their way to make me feel at home. It’s a wonderful club and I couldn’t have asked for any more from my time here.”

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