Joe Root pulls out of Black Caps T20 tri-series


Star England cricketer Ben Stokes will skip his side's opening match on New Zealand soil in February due to a Bristol court appearance.

World class batsman Joe Root has withdrawn from England's team for the Twenty20 tri-series against New Zealand and Australia.

England's next match in the series where Stokes could be available is a February 18 clash against the Black Caps in Hamilton.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last week revealed that the all-rounder is clear to resume his global career and was due to fly to New Zealand ahead of the Twenty20 matches against the Black Caps next month.

"You look at the amount of cricket we have got coming up and it was a long, hard decision that me and (head coach) Trevor Bayliss had to come to".

"It is a decision that has taken a long time to come to", Root said.

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The 26-year-old could, theorectically, have started training with the squad before returning to England to attend court, but he will instead delay his departure.

Stokes was left out of the Ashes series after being suspended from playing for his country as police decided whether to press charges following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub last September.

"As has been confirmed in the media, a first hearing date at court has been set for 13th February", Stokes tweeted on Tuesday.

"If being involved in that block of cricket, with everything that tournament brings, is going to add more to my game for the next four or five years then missing a few games here might be worthwhile".

Root, who has been on tour in Australia for three months, will return home at the end of January following the final one-dayer in Perth and miss the T20 series against Australia and New Zealand.