Ben Stokes greeted by his mum and dad after landing in New Zealand as England star prepares for competitive return after Bristol brawl suspension

  • Ben Stokes flew out to New Zealand from Heathrow Airport on Monday night
  • England all-rounder set to play in two 50-over matches for Canterbury
  • Stokes is still awaiting charge for his part in a Bristol street brawl in September

Ben Stokes received a warm embrace from his mother, Deborah, as he landed in New Zealand on Wednesday morning ahead of making his return to competitive action.

The England all-rounder was pictured at Heathrow Airport on Monday night as he prepared to fly out to Christchurch.

Stokes has not played since he was arrested in late September for his part in a street brawl in Bristol that saw him immediately suspended from international duty.?

?Stokes received a warm embrace from his mum, Deborah, after landing in New Zealand

?Ben Stokes receives a warm embrace from his mum, Deborah, after landing in New Zealand

?Ben Stokes arrived in Christchurch on Wednesday morning with his luggage and cricket kit

?Stokes arrived in Christchurch on Wednesday morning with his luggage and cricket kit

?The England all-rounder flew out to play cricket in New Zealand amid his Ashes omission?

?The England all-rounder flew out after catching a plane from Heathrow Airport on Monday

Stokes' father Gerard was also present alongside other family members and a media scrum at Christchurch Airport, as the England star prepares for what could be a sensational Ashes comeback.

He told reporters on his arrival:?'Just looking forward to seeing mum and dad. Just catch up with everyone I haven't seen in a long time.'

The 26-year-old, who broke his hand in the incident two months ago, is pencilled in to play two 50-over games for Canterbury as he aims to ready himself should he receive clearance to join England.

The 26-year-old was spotted with his cricket gear at Heathrow on Monday, sending Twitter into a frenzy that he was set to join up with his England team-mates in Australia.

But with Joe Root's men already 1-0 down in the five-Test Ashes series, Stokes has opted to spend time with family in the country of his birth.

Stokes was greeted by a media frenzy as he prepares to play competitive cricket again

Stokes is greeted by a media frenzy as he prepares to play competitive cricket again

Stokes was welcomed by family members, including his mother and father Gerard (right)

Stokes was welcomed by family members, including his father Gerard (right)

Stokes is surrounded by reporters as he makes his way out of Christchurch Airport

Stokes is surrounded by reporters as he makes his way out of Christchurch Airport

The ECB claimed that Stokes,?who is still waiting for the police to complete their investigations, was making a 'private trip to spent time with his family'.

Stokes could play for his native Canterbury – he was born in Christchurch – in two 50-over matches on December 3 and 6 in an attempt to prove he is ready to return to Test cricket.

The trip at least provides him with an opportunity to get himself into shape for the final three Ashes Tests.

Ben Stokes was pictured on Twitter on Monday night boarding a flight from Heathrow

Ben Stokes was pictured on Twitter on Monday night boarding a flight from Heathrow

Canterbury are understood to have been given permission by New Zealand Cricket to pick Stokes.

The ECB issued him with a No Objection Certificate – permission for him to take part in an overseas domestic tournament – last Friday.

Stokes' England team-mates landed in Adelaide on Tuesday ahead of the start of the second Test - a day-night contest - on Saturday.?

Stokes has not played for England since being involved in a brawl in Bristol two months ago

Stokes has not played for England since being involved in a brawl in Bristol two months ago

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