Sydney - Joe Root on Tuesday pulled out of England's
Twenty20 tri-series against Australia and New Zealand, as Ben Stokes confirmed
his return to international cricket would be delayed by a court appearance.
Test captain Root, who has played in all five Ashes matches
and the first three ODIs against Australia this month, will return to England
before playing in the one-day international series against New Zealand in late
Root said he did not like missing games but made a decision
to "have a little break". His replacement has not yet been named.
"I came into this tour wanting to play everything. I
love playing for England and I don't like missing games of cricket," the
27-year-old Yorkshire batsman said in a statement.
"I had a long chat with (coach) Trevor Bayliss about
things and there's obviously a big summer ahead and a lot of cricket still to
"It's going to be really important to make sure that
I'm available for all of that."
Stokes is due in court to face charges of affray on February
13, the same day England play New Zealand in the T20 series.
The 26-year-old missed England's Ashes series defeat in
Australia after he was suspended from international duty by the England and
Wales Cricket Board following his involvement in an incident outside a
nightclub in September.
He was last week included in the squad to play the
triangular T20 tournament.
"As has been confirmed in the media a first hearing
date at court has been set for 13th February," Stokes tweeted on Tuesday.
"In the circumstances, I have decided that it would not
be right to join my teammates until after attending court on the 13th."
The news came ahead of this year's Indian Premier League
auction set for January 27-28 in Bangalore, with both Root and Stokes lining up
as among the top-ranking players the eight teams can bid for.
Australian captain Steve Smith has been rested for the T20
games ahead of the crucial Test tour to South Africa, with David Warner
stepping up to lead the team.
The T20 tri-series takes place in Australia and New Zealand
from February 3-21.
England's five-match ODI series against New Zealand runs
from February 25 to March 10.