England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been signed by New Zealand domestic team Canterbury. Stokes left for New Zealand earlier this week. A photo of his at the airport was going viral on social media. Fans believe he was traveling to Australia to join the England team in Adelaide after their defeat in the first test at Gabba.
Stokes will be available for Canterbury in their Ford Trophy match against Otago to be played in Rangiora on December 3.
“After the approach from Ben’s representative’s everything has happened very quickly for us to the extent that we are now delighted to welcome Ben into the team,” said CCA Director of Cricket Gary Stead.
“Ben will bring international experience to what is a relatively youthful changing room. He will also bring depth to our seam attack which has been affected by a string of injuries and provide more balance and firepower to our batting line up,” he added.
“While Ben awaits the outcome of an investigation underway in the UK, he wants to maintain his fitness and his connection with the game. He is a brilliant all-around player and we are really pleased to have secured one of the world’s best players in our domestic competition. His experience will be invaluable to our young cricketers as we look to defend our Ford Trophy title and improve performances in the Burger King Super Smash. The team has expressed their excitement about the opportunity to learn from and play with Ben,” Stead added.
Stokes along with Alex Hales was involved in a brawl in Bristol in September and was arrested. He did not travel with the England team for Ashes 2017-18. Stokes was originally named in the squad but later removed as England included fast bowler Steve Finn in touring party. While many believe this was a big blow to England and severely dents their Ashes chances, Moeen Ali made a statement England can win Ashes without Stokes. He was supposed to be England’s vice-captain.
All-rounder from Durham was snapped up by Rising Pune Supergiants for a whopping 14.5 crores earlier this year. He had a fruitful IPL season. He is regarded as the most valuable all-rounder in contemporary times.
Stokes is often compared with former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff. He is now showing he is no different from Freddie by getting involved in controversies. Throughout the course of his career, Freddie Flintoff also had his share of controversies. The 26-year-old has played 39 tests, 62 ODIS and 21 T20Is for England.
– by Atharva Apte