The Ashes: Malan to step forward as Stokes’s exile continues

Ben Stokes is set to be replaced by Dawid Malan in England's one-day international squad for the series against Australia
Ben Stokes is set to be replaced by Dawid Malan in England's one-day international squad for the series against Australia
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Ben Stokes is set to be replaced by Dawid Malan in England’s one-day international squad to face Australia.

Stokes was named earlier this month in England’s squad for the forthcoming series, even though he remains unavailable for international selection.

The match-winning all-rounder is still waiting to see if he will be charged with causing actual bodily harm following the late-night fracas outside a Bristol nightclub on September 25.

It is understood that, with Eoin Morgan’s white-ball specialists set to fly to Australia imminently for a series which starts on January 14, the England and Wales Cricket Board will announce middle-order batsman Malan’s inclusion instead within the next 24 hours.

The ECB is also expected to name a Twenty20 squad for next month’s Tri-Series against Australia and New Zealand in the coming days. Stokes’ situation will become clearer only when the Crown Prosecution Service, which began considering his case at the end of last month, advises police whether to charge him. Only after the criminal case is concluded will a Cricket Discipline Commission rule on any further penalty for the 26-year-old, who has not played for his country since September 24.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison indicated this month that the governing body will grant a no-objection certificate for Stokes to enter the lucrative Indian Premier League auction – at the end of this month – for a second successive year.

He played a starring role in his maiden campaign for Rising Pune Supergiant, after signing a £1.7m deal.

Malan, meanwhile, is uncapped in ODI cricket but made a fine impression on his Twenty20 debut last summer and has since gone on to establish himself in England’s Test team – including with a maiden century in last week’s defeat in Perth, where Joe Root’s tourists nonetheless lost by an innings as Australia regained the Ashes.

England conclude their Ashes campaign in Sydney this week and go into the final match 3-0 down after drawing the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.