Stokes not going for Ashes, confirms European Central Bank

Ben Stokes is met by his dad Ged at Christchurch Airport
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Suspended England all-rounder Ben Stokes has reportedly signed a short-term contract to play for Canterbury in New Zealand's domestic 50 over competition.

A photo widely shared on social media apparently shows Stokes walking through Heathrow Airport with large equipment bags.

"Following the recent speculation surrounding Ben Stokes coming to New Zealand, Canterbury cricket can now confirm that they have been in initial informal discussions with Ben Stokes' representatives regarding his potential availability", a Canterbury statement said.

Stokes has been suspended pending the outcome of investigations into a late-night incident in which he appeared to get involved in a fight outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

The news of Stokes' movements come in the wake of another embarrassing saga for the European Central Bank, folowing the revelation that Jonny Bairstow "headbutted" Cameron Bancroft, the Australia opener, on a night out in Perth at the start of the Ashes tour.

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Stokes was arrested after video footage purportedly showed England's test vice-captain throwing punches in a street fight after a night out celebrating England's win over the West Indies in a limited-overs worldwide.

Canterbury Cricket chief executive Jeremy Curwin added: "The CCA board and New Zealand Cricket will independently be considering this issue in the near future but, until then, we are unable to provide any more detail on the status of the deliberations".

The third Ashes Test begins in Perth on December 14, while England start a two-day tour game in the same city on December 9. "His travel arrangements have not been arranged by the European Central Bank", a statement read.

"As and when there are any further developments we will of course release further statements".

Stokes moved to England with his parents as a 12-year-old after his New Zealand rugby league worldwide father, Ged, took up a coaching job in Cumbria.

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