Morgan backs decision by Ben Stokes to play

England cricketer Ben Stokes, right, talks to Canterbury coach Gary Stead during a training session in Rangiora, near Christchurch. Picture: AP/Mark Baker.
England cricketer Ben Stokes, right, talks to Canterbury coach Gary Stead during a training session in Rangiora, near Christchurch. Picture: AP/Mark Baker.
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England one-day captain Eoin Morgan has welcomed Ben Stokes’s return to cricket as a “good decision”.

Stokes is unavailable for the current Ashes series in Australia as he still waits to hear whether the Crown Prosecution Service advises police to charge him or not following his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

But the England all-rounder is playing again, for Canterbury Kings in New Zealand’s Ford Trophy competition, and Morgan believes that is a wise move as Stokes waits on the decision over the late-night fracas in Bristol in September.

“Ben is obviously getting cricket under his belt which is a really good decision,” said Morgan. “For him, as an all-rounder, to get miles under his leg as a bowler – given that he could potentially come back quickly – is a good decision.”

Stokes again struggled to make an impact for Canterbury after scoring just two and going wicketless on his debut on Sunday. He scored 34 and failed to take a wicket as Canterbury fell to a seven-wicket defeat to Auckland yesterday.

Elsewhere, Durham’s Mark Wood got runs and wickets as England Lions lost by six wickets to a Western Australia XI in a warm-up match in Perth.

England's Eoin Morgan during a nets session at  Edgbaston. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA

England's Eoin Morgan during a nets session at Edgbaston. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA

Wood, touted for a possible recall into the Ashes Test side, hit 51 before taking two of the four Western Australia wickets to fall.

Ben is obviously getting cricket under his belt which is a really good decision

England one-day captain, Eoin Morgan