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Ben Stokes Headed to New Zealand Not Australia Confirms ECB

England cricket chiefs on Tuesday said suspended allrounder Ben Stokes was visiting family in New Zealand and not heading to Australia after he was apparently spotted leaving London's Heathrow airport.

AFP |November 28, 2017, 8:50 AM IST
Ben Stokes Headed to New Zealand Not Australia Confirms ECB

Sydney: England cricket chiefs on Tuesday said suspended allrounder Ben Stokes was visiting family in New Zealand and not heading to Australia after he was apparently spotted leaving London's Heathrow airport.

An image that claimed to show him at the airport began doing the rounds on social media late on Monday, sparking speculation that he was flying Down Under to take part in the Ashes.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) quickly poured cold water on the suggestion.

"The ECB is aware that Ben Stokes is making a private trip to New Zealand to spend time with his family. His travel arrangements have not been arranged by the ECB," it said in a statement.

"He is not on his way to the Ashes, England Lions or any other official training camps with the England set-up."

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 controversy rocked England's preparations for the series with former Australia Test captains Steve Waugh and Ian Chappell among those who believe England can't retain the Ashes without him.

Australia won the first Test in Brisbane this week by 10 wickets, with the day-night second Test starting in Adelaide on Saturday.

Stokes moved from New Zealand to England as a child so his father Gerard, a former rugby league international, could take a coaching role.

Both his parents have since moved back to Christchurch.

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Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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