Stokes on his way to New Zealand to play cricket

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However, it seems the suspension is only for global cricket and Stokes is free to play in New Zealand's domestic competition.

After pictures of Stokes at Heathrow airport prompted speculation that the suspended all-rounder could be returning to England for the Ashes in Australia, it was confirmed that he was instead flying to New Zealand.

European Central Bank had earlier clarified that Stokes is not travelling to Australia, but going to New Zealand to spend time with his family. He was given a non-objection certificate by the European Central Bank last week to play domestic cricket although he remains under suspension from the England team.

But it turns out that the banned all-rounder was just making a trip to New Zealand to see his parents.

Canterbury's next fixture is on Sunday, which is the second day of the second Ashes Test. His travel has not been arranged by the European Central Bank.

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.

By being in Christchurch, though, Stokes is only a comparatively short flight away from Australia and could quickly join the England team if police in Britain decides not to press charges after investigating his involvement in an incident outside a nightclub last September.

He is still awaiting the outcome of the police investigation. "He is not on his way to the Ashes, England Lions or any other official training camps with the England set-up." the statement read.

"As and when there are any further developments we will of course release further statements".

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