Cricket's highest ranking official today steered a course through the imbroglio around disgraced England allrounder Ben Stokes.

Dave Richardson, former South African wicketkeeper and now International Cricket Council chief executive, laid off passing detailed comment on Stokes' situation at the launch of the 2018 under 19 World Cup in Wellington.

A decision is expected later today on whether Stokes, subject to a police investigation in England after a late night brawl, will play for Canterbury in the 50-over Ford Trophy starting on Sunday.

Canterbury are understood to have initially been interested in signing Stokes for a short period, possibly to give him match fitness ahead of possibly being called into England's ailing Ashes squad in Australia.


However it is understood some of that initial enthusiasm has cooled, especially once English police had passed the case onto the Crown Prosecution Service in England for advice on whether charges should be laid early today.

"It's really in the hands of the England and Wales Cricket Board," Richardson said today.

"The ICC doesn't have jurisdiction and doesn't get involved. If he plays, obviously he hasn't been charged with anything yet, so he plays."

Richardson said the ICC jurisdiction revolved around events in international cricket and on the field. Anything that happens outside that Stokes' employers need to handle.

"I think he's different," Richardson said of Stokes.

"People get involved in things you don't want to necessarily get involved in and you're not going to be perfect angels all the time.

"Being a former lawyer, (I would say) the process will take its course."

Asked his view on whether Stokes should play for Canterbury, Richardson said: "If he needs a bit of practice why not."


That said, he added that the publicity surrounding Stokes is bad for the game.

"Any bad publicity is not great for the game but let's not forget he hasn't been changed, there's a process that needs to be followed, and the ECB and law enforcement agencies in the UK will deal with it as it should be dealt with."