23 Dec 2017

Ben Stokes returning to UK, ends Canterbury stint

2:09 pm on 23 December 2017

England all-rounder Ben Stokes is returning to the United Kingdom today for family reasons, ending his brief stint with Canterbury cricket.

Ben Stokes playing for Canterbury.

Ben Stokes playing for Canterbury. Photo: Photosport

Through a statement Canterbury Cricket CEO Jez Curwin said they were grateful for his time with them and for what he added to the squad during his time.

"Ben has been great around the club, the team and the staff. 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 thanked the club for the opportunity afforded to him.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed training and playing with Canterbury. 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," said Stokes.

Christchurch-born Stokes signed with Canterbury Cricket in late November for the 50-over and Twenty20 domestic competitions.

He was playing in his country of birth while waiting to learn if he will be able to play in Australia this summer.

Stokes, who is sweating on a verdict from UK prosecutors regarding his brawl outside a Bristol club in September that left a man with a fractured eye socket, is barred from internationals but was cleared to play domestic cricket with Canterbury.

He was last week provisionally named in England's ODI squad for the five- match series that follows the Ashes.

Stokes struggled early on in his New Zealand stint but struck form with a match-winning 93 during a T20 match last week.

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