Dawid Malan is set to replace Ben Stokes in England’s One-Day International squad for the upcoming five match series in Australia. Stokes is currently not available for international selection following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September and according to reports, the ECB has decided that the case against him is unlikely to be resolved before the ODI series, starting on January 14.
Stokes’ case is currently being reviewed by the Criminal Prosecution Service who will decide whether to proceed. It has been with them since November but there is still no indication as to when they will make a final decision. As such, England’s management has decided to replace Stokes, named in the original squad, on the basis that he would only play if his case had been resolved, with Malan.
The Middlesex left-handed batsman has had a good tour of Australia so far, scoring his maiden Test century in Perth, and his selection is further evidence of England’s increasing faith in him. Malan is an aggressive one-day player – he showed as much during a 44 ball 78 on T20 debut against South Africa last summer – and averages 42 in List A cricket. He can bat anywhere in the top order.
When Stokes will next play for England is difficult to say. After the criminal investigation concludes there will also be an ECB disciplinary process to work through, although it is expected that could be completed fairly quickly if necessary. If the CPS decide the case is worthy of proceeding with, that would likely cause further delays but the ECB will stick to its current stance regarding Stokes’ selection.After the ODIs Down Under, England have a T20 tri-series involving Australia and New Zealand. They will play two games against Australia before heading to New Zealand for two more with the possibility of a final at the end. After that, they have five ODIs games and three Tests in New Zealand. Stokes will not be available for any of these matches unless the police investigation has completed.He will, however, be available to play domestic cricket as the ECB are conscious that he should not be prevented from earning a living. Before Christmas, Stokes played for Canterbury in New Zealand’s domestic limited overs competitions and ECB chief executive Tom Harrison has suggested that Stokes would be granted a No Objection Certificate to play in the IPL should he so want one.