Stokes to join England in NZ, while next hearing is set for March

Stokes to join England in NZ, while next hearing is set for March

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes will join the England squad in New Zealand after appearing at Bristol Magistrates Court on Tuesday on a charge of affray.

The first hearing of Stokes’ trial is scheduled for Monday, 12 March at Bristol Crown Court, although he is not required to return to the UK to attend it.

Stokes, who missed the recent Ashes series which hosts Australia won 4-0, will arrive in Hamilton in Friday, where England face the Black Caps on Sunday.

However, an England and Wales Cricket Board statement said Stokes “is not currently being considered” for the ongoing T20 tri-series, which ends on 21 February.

England then play five one-day internationals and two Tests against New Zealand.

“Any decision to include him in upcoming matches will be made by head coach Trevor Bayliss and the England management team,” the statement added.

“As soon as he was available to come we wanted him to get out here,” Bayliss told BBC Sport on Tuesday.

“I think getting back to cricket will be a relief to him. He’s an out and out sportsman and that’s what he does best.”

England in New Zealand in 2018
18 February Twenty20: New Zealand v England, Hamilton (06:00 GMT)
21 February T20 final: Australia v England or New Zealand, Auckland (06:00 GMT)
25 February 1st ODI with New Zealand, Hamilton (d/n) (01:00 GMT)
28 February 2nd ODI, Mount Maunganui (d/n) (01:00 GMT, moved from Napier)
3 March 3rd ODI, Wellington (Westpac Stadium) (d/n) (01:00 GMT)
7 March 4th ODI, Dunedin (22:00 GMT, 6 Mar)
10 March 5th ODI, Christchurch (22:00 GMT, 9 Mar)
22-26 March 1st Test, Auckland (d/n) (01:00 GMT)
30 March-3 April 2nd Test, Christchurch (22:00 GMT, 29 Mar-2 Apr)

Stokes has not played for England since an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

Stokes played six domestic matches in New Zealand in December.

He appeared in three one-day games and three T20s for Canterbury Kings after being cleared to play by the ECB.

Stokes returned to the UK to spend Christmas with his family and has been given permission to take part in the Indian Premier League, which starts in April.

Ben Stokes timeline

25 September – Stokes and team-mate Alex Hales are involved in an incident at about 02:35 BST near Bristol’s Mbargo club which left another man needing hospital treatment for facial injuries. Stokes is arrested by Avon and Somerset Police and released under investigation.

27 September – England include Stokes in their 16-man Ashes squad, despite him suffering a minor finger fracture on his right hand. Hales is not included.

27 September – The Sun newspaper releases footage that allegedly shows the incident involving Stokes and Hales.

28 September – The ECB announces Stokes and Hales will not be considered for selection for England matches until further notice.

11 October – Stokes loses his sponsorship deal with sportswear brand New Balance.

28 October – England fly out to Australia for the Ashes without Stokes.

23 November – England lose the first Ashes Test against Australia by 10 wickets in Brisbane.

27 November – The ECB issues a statement denying Stokes is joining England’s squad after a picture is posted on Twitter which it is said shows him at Heathrow Airport.

29 November – Stokes arrives in New Zealand to play for Canterbury Kings.

29 November – Avon & Somerset Police announce they have completed their investigation and have sent their findings to the Crown Prosecution Service.

4 December – It is announced Hales will not face criminal charges, and the ECB says he is available for selection.

6 December – Stokes is named in England’s one-day squad for the five-match series against Australia in the new year.

23 December – Stokes ends his spell with Canterbury and returns to England.

11 January – Stokes is named in England’s Test squad for the tour of New Zealand in March and April.

15 January – Stokes is charged with affray.

13 February – Stokes granted unconditional bail after appearing at Bristol Magistrates’ Court.

Published at Tue, 13 Feb 2018 20:58:08 +0000

US teenager Kim wins halfpipe gold – day four round-up

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XXIII Olympic Winter Games
Venue: Pyeongchang, South Korea Dates: 9-25 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app. Full coverage times

American snowboard sensation Chloe Kim produced a brilliant performance to take gold in the women’s halfpipe.

The 17-year-old won with a score of 98.25 on her final run with China’s Jiayu Liu taking silver and United States‘ Arielle Gold winning bronze.

Kim had already secured gold with her first run score but improved to win by eight-and-a-half points.

She is one of the stars of the Games and a favourite with the home fans due to her South Korean parents.

“It means a lot just being able to do it where my family is from,” Kim said after her win which was watched by the biggest crowd so far at Pyeongchang’s Phoenix Snow Park.

“There was a lot of pressure, but I’m happy I was able to do it here and do it for the fans and the family.

“I’m so happy I was able to land and being here is so exciting, this has been a dream of mine.”

The seven other gold medals on day four

  • Austrian skiing great Marcel Hirscher finally wins his first Olympic title with victory in the men’s combined event
  • Kjeld Nuis edges out fellow Dutchman Patrick Roest by 0.85 seconds to win 1500m speed skating gold
  • Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger takes gold after a dominant display in the women’s singles luge

Breathtaking after breakfast

BBC Sport commentator Ed Leigh said we might be looking at “the beginning of a very long reign for the queen of halfpipe snowboarding”.

The Californian was the strong favourite ahead of the Games and that status was strengthened when she qualified with a score of 91.50, almost four better than any of her rivals.

The gold is Kim’s first Olympic medal at her debut Games. She qualified for the 2014 Games in Sochi but was unable to compete as she was aged just 13.

The teenager was the last to take to the course in the first run and immediately moved top of the standings with a score of 93.75.

She fell on her second run but no rider was able to better her initial effort meaning the American was already guaranteed gold before her final run.

Kim even took to Twitter during the competition to discuss her breakfast.

Her US team-mate and snowboard legend Shaun White qualified first in the men’s halfpipe ahead of the final on Wednesday at 01:30 GMT.

Chloe Kim tweet

Who is Pyeongchang’s ‘queen’?

Chloe Kim

Kim’s parents emigrated from South Korea to the US in 1982 and she first tried the sport aged four.

Despite her age she has dominated the sport in recent years, becoming the youngest person to win three X Games gold medals.

At just 15 she became the first female snowboarder to land back-to-back 1080 degree spins in competition, a trick she repeated on her third run in Pyeongchang.

The teenager has a large following on social media and a tweet between her qualification runs went viral as she expressed her need for ice cream.

In her news conference following her win Kim said “I’m so hungry. I really want a burger or fries or maybe some pizza”.

Thousands of Twitter users congratulated her following the win, causing her name to trend on the network.

There was more than double the number of tweets including her name in the hours after her win than those featuring her compatriots and fellow snowboard gold medal winners Red Gerard and Jamie Anderson combined after their wins earlier in the Games.

Chloe Kim ice cream tweet

Other news lines from day four

Alex Rigsby
  • Two goalkeepers in the US women’s ice hockey team have been asked to remove the Statue of Liberty emblem on parts of their masks. The International Olympic Committee does not allow images which might be viewed as a political symbol.
  • The International Ski Federation (IFS) has defended its decision to go ahead with yesterday’s women’s slopestyle final. Jenny Wiedeke, a spokesperson for the governing body, said the wind speed was monitored constantly and that only one team approached them directly with any concerns. Wiedeke added it was “obviously not perfect conditions”, but that athletes have to adapt accordingly.
  • Japanese speed skater Kei Saito has become the first athlete to be excluded from the 2018 Winter Olympics for a doping violation.
  • In a bid to boost numbers, fans without tickets will no longer be charged to attend victory ceremonies at the Olympic medals Plaza in Pyeongchang.
  • Head of the IOC’s Athletes Commission Angela Ruggiero said Canadian figure skater Eric Radford was “paving the way that everyone should be accepted and able to compete at the Olympics” after becoming the first openly gay male athlete to win a gold medal at the Winter Games.

Published at Tue, 13 Feb 2018 14:31:20 +0000