Stokes on his way to New Zealand to play cricket

England missed Stokes' allround abilities as they went down by 10 wickets in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane with the second game of the series scheduled to start in Adelaide on Saturday.

There was widespread speculation on social media that he was heading to Australia after being pictured at the airport on Monday.

"I'll be sat at home watching and following the lads in the hope they do really well", Stokes said in a video.

European Central Bank confirm aware Ben Stokes on his way to New Zealand to see family.

Stokes has been given a non-objection certificate by the European Central Bank to play domestic cricket although he remains suspended for England until it is made clear whether or not he will face criminal charges for his role in a late night altercation in September.

"Canterbury Cricket said in a statement: "(We) have been in initial informal discussions with Ben Stokes' representatives regarding his potential availability".

Stokes was initially named in England's 16-man squad to tour Australia but was quickly stood down from global duty following his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm in Bristol in September.

Stokes was arrested in September by Avon & Somerset Police on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm in an incident outside a Bristol nightclub and has not been considered for selection since. "His travel arrangements have not been arranged by the European Central Bank", a statement read.

He was released by police while the investigation continues.

Perth, the venue of the third Ashes Test on December 14, is about an eight-hour flight from New Zealand, putting the all-rounder within easy reach should he be cleared to join the team.

  • Rosalie Stanley