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Stokes, Hales named in England ODI squad

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Ben Stokes second innings for Canterbury was an improvement on his first

BEN STOKES showed little sign he is ready to help save The Ashes for England in his second appearance playing in New Zealand.

Durham cricketer Ben Stokes is in line to make his England return next month after he and Nottinghamshire's Alex Hales were provisionally selected for the one-day global series against Australia.

The New Zealand-born all-rounder has been suspended from playing for England while police investigate his role in the September 25 incident in Bristol, which followed a limited-overs global against the West Indies.

Selectors said in a statement that they had been advised to name their strongest squad, and picked the pair accordingly.

The all-rounder is now playing for Canterbury Kings with he and Hales having not played for England since 24 September after they were declared unavailable for selection until further notice following their night out in Bristol which saw Stokes arrested.

Australia will host England in the first of five-match One-Day International (ODI) series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on January 14.

"Both Alex Hales and Ben Stokes are included, though their involvement remains subject to any relevant legal or disciplinary developments in relation to the incident in Bristol in September", a statement from European Central Bank said. "I can't see any changes there personally".

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The England all-rounder, who scored just two and went wicketless on his debut on Sunday, made 34 from 41 balls and again failed to take a scalp as Canterbury fell to a seven-wicket defeat to Auckland.

"We could bring Hales back in and drop one of those guys down, but then it would upset someone else".

Also back in the mix lower down the list is fast bowler Mark Wood, returning from his heel injury.

"History will tell you that the winners of the World Cup have come from the top two ranked teams", Bayliss said.

"At the same time, we're still two years away and there might be some younger players, like Craig Overton for example, who comes into the team and does well".

"Whether it's any more of a circus than it's already been, it's hard to say".

Asked about the timing of any clarification of Stokes' situation, Bayliss said: "I've got absolutely no idea".

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