Stokes’ New Zealand struggles worsen

England cricketer Ben Stokes waits to bat during a training session with the Canterbury team in Rangiora, near Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. Stokes will play for Canterbury province in New Zealand's domestic one-day competition beginning Sunday, Dec. 3, despite being barred from international play as he waits to learn whether he will be charged over his part in a nightclub assault in September.(AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Ben Stokes was run out for a golden duck. Mark Baker


EVEN if the police cleared Ben Stokes of any wrongdoing, his form would hardly justify an Ashes recall.

The English all-rounder was run-out for a golden ball duck on Sunday while playing for Canterbury against Northern Districts in New Zealand's domestic one-day competition.

He fared marginally better with the ball, claiming his first wicket in three games but ended with unflattering figures of 1-56 from 10 overs.

Christchurch-born and raised Stokes has made just 36 runs from three knocks while he waits to learn of his fate with the law and the England and Wales Cricket Board.

He's also been unnaffective with the ball, registering figures of 0-49, 0-39 and now 1-56.

Stokes was suspended by the ECB following an incident in Bristol on September 25 that left a man with a fractured eye socket. However the ban only applies for international matches and the all-rounder was permitted to play in New Zealand's domestic competition while he waits to be summoned for England's teetering Ashes campaign.

Canterbury is winless so far this season and faces an uphill battle on Sunday. Chasing 275 for victory at Hagley Oval, Canterbury were struggling at 5-124 off 27 overs.

The third Test begins on Thursday in Perth, while New Zealand's T20 'Super Smash' starts on Wednesday.