Pakistan News

Stokes, Hales picked for ODI series in Sri Lanka

LONDON: Ben Stokes and Alex Hales were named in England’s one-day squad to tour Sri Lanka on Wednesday despite being charged with bringing cricket into disrepute.

The pair face a disciplinary panel hearing in London in December following a brawl outside a nightclub in the southwestern city of Bristol in September 2017.

Stokes, 27, was last month cleared of affray following a seven-day trial related to the incident. Hales, 29, was with his England team-mate during the altercation but was not charged.

Warwickshire fast bowler Olly Stone, 24, has been called into the 16-man squad for the first time as a replacement for Yorkshire’s Liam Plunkett.

Plunkett, who is getting married, will be available again for the last two ODIs of the five-match series.

Stone, who has struggled with injury problems in recent years, has impressed selectors with his consistent performances this season.

The first ODI takes place in Dambulla on Oct 10.

Meanwhile, England Test captain Joe Root has given his backing for seamer Stuart Broad to be included in the Test squad for the Sri Lanka tour amid speculation that the new-ball bowler could be dropped.

Broad took 23 wickets in seven home Tests against Pakistan and India this year but British media reported that national selectors were considering leaving the 32-year-old out of the side for three Tests that start in November.

Conditions are likely to ensure that England travel with three frontline spinners but Root has backed Broad, the country’s second most successful Test bowler after James Anderson, to play a pivotal role on the South Asian pitches.

“I think Stuart’s experience will be vital in Sri Lanka,” Root told the Daily Telegraph. “He has had a lot of experience in the subcontinent and had a lot of success with teams out there, so I think it is very important that you utilise that and have experience in those testing conditions to help mould the side around it.”

Root, meanwhile, said team-mate Moeen Ali has the full support of the team after the all-rounder said he was called ‘Osama’ by an Australian player during an Ashes Test in 2015.

Moeen, who is a Muslim, made the allegation in his forthcoming autobiography, saying the apparent reference to Islamist militant Osama bin Laden came during his Ashes debut in Cardiff.

“All I want to do is give him the support he needs to feel comfortable with the whole situation,” Root added.

ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2018

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