Stokes raises Ashes hopes with New Zealand trip

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Unsurprisingly, England fans were pretty chuffed with the news.

An ECB official confirmed to Omnisport that, while Stokes was indeed at the airport, he was making "a private trip to New Zealand to spend time with his family".

The ECB statement came after a picture was posted on Twitter which it was claimed showed Stokes at Heathrow Airport.

Ben Stokes is reportedly heading downunder - but it won't be to join the England cricket team in Adelaide.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has reportedly flown to New Zealand, not Australia where his nation are now playing in the Ashes.

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England and Wales Cricket Board denied the vice-captain is en route to Australia ahead of the start to the second test.

Stokes was dropped from the England tour to Australia while being investigated for an alleged assault in Bristol earlier this year.

The news of Stokes' movements come in the wake of another embarrassing saga for the European Central Bank, folowing the revelation that Jonny Bairstow "headbutted" Cameron Bancroft, the Australia opener, on a night out in Perth at the start of the Ashes tour.

After England's woeful performance in the first Test in Brisbane, where they lost by 10 wickets, the tourists need all the help they can get.

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