England all-rounder Ben Stokes headed for New Zealand, not Ashes

Ben Stokes is not part of England's Ashes squad at present

Stokes, 26, is not part of England's Ashes tour after being arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm in September.

Canterbury earlier confirmed they have had informal talks with Stokes' representatives, but no direct contact with the player himself.

Asked about the prospect of taking Stokes on board, Curwin said: "The CCA Board and New Zealand Cricket will independently be considering this issue in the near future but, until then, we are unable to provide any more detail on the status of the deliberations".

Reports from The Times of United Kingdom claim the 26-year-old has been given clearance from the English Cricket Board (ECB) to play in the Ford Trophy, which gets underway on Sunday.

However, it is understood Stokes is heading to New Zealand to practice and spend time with his family, rather than meeting up with his England team-mates.

Travel arrangements have not been arranged by them.

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Australia won the first Test in Brisbane this week by 10 wickets, with the day-night second Test starting in Adelaide on Saturday.

"He is not on his way to the Ashes, the England Lions or any other training camps within the England set-up".

Stokes moved from New Zealand to England as a child so his father Gerard, a former rugby league worldwide, could take a coaching role.

European Central Bank boss Andrew Strauss has stressed that he won't be able to play for England until he's been cleared by police for the incident which took place outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

Stokes has not been ruled out of the five-test series, but the England and Wales Cricket Board will not consider him for selection until further notice as it awaits developments in the ongoing investigation.

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