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England would welcome Ben Stokes ‘with open arms’ if cleared for Ashes

• Fellow allrounder Chris Woakes hopes to see Stokes in Australia
• Australian media lay into ECB over handling of Stokes’ New Zealand trip

Ben Stokes would be welcomed back to the England squad “with open arms” after touching down in New Zealand to get himself match-fit for a possible Ashes call-up.

Saturday’s pink-ball second Test in Adelaide – a chance to draw level with Australia after the 10-wicket defeat at the Gabba – remains the focus for Joe Root’s tourists but looming over their preparations was the arrival of Stokes in the southern hemisphere on Wednesday.

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