England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been made available for England selection despite being charged by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) with affray in connection with a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub last year.
The suspension on Stokes was lifted following the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) meeting on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old is now expected to join the England squad in February to play T20 matches against New Zealand after being suspended indefinitely by the board pending the outcome of a police investigation into the incident.
The ECB in an official statement said, “Following a full board discussion, in which all considerations were taken into account, the ECB board has agreed that Ben Stokes should now be considered for England selection.
The board added, “Given the CPS decision to charge him and two others with affray, confirmation of his intention to contest the charge and the potential length of time to trial, the board agreed that it would not be fair, reasonable or proportionate for Ben Stokes to remain unavailable for a further indeterminate period.”
“England selectors, management and players have been informed and Ben Stokes is expected to join the squad in New Zealand for February’s T20 matches,” the ECB statement further read.
Earlier, on Monday, Stokes alongside two others was charged with affray in the Bristol brawl, which happened last September on a night out with England teammates during the one-day series against West Indies.
Stokes had to miss the Ashes series after being suspended indefinitely the ECB pending the outcome of a police investigation into the incident.