BEN STOKES has been cleared to cash in on the Indian Premier League despite being barred from playing for England.
Stokes was bought for $2.9 million (£1.7m) last year when he turned out for Rising Pune Supergiants in the auction, thesun.co.uk reports.
And the all-rounder could receive even more when he goes up for grabs in the latest IPL auction later this money with the salary cap increased by 20 per cent.
Stokes, 26, is still suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board following an alleged assault on a night out in Bristol last year.
But the ECB have given permission for the Durham star to be in the list of players available to compete in this year’s competition in India.
It means Stokes could find himself as one of the highest paid players in the IPL while still being unable to take part in international cricket.
The ECB imposed a suspension on the player in September after it emerged he was involved in a fight while on a night out with England teammates.
It meant the all-rounder was unable to be part of the Ashes squad currently touring Australia while police investigated the incident.
Officers have now passed on the file to the Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether he will face any charges following the bust-up, which left him with a broken hand.
The ECB will only meet to decide on their stance going forward when the CPS make their decision, which is expected to be later this month.
There had been a hope the situation would resolve itself in time for the player to link up with the England squad in time for the third Ashes Test.
But with the delay in deciding if any criminal charges would be made, there was no chance of him being able to board a plane to Australia.
Instead, Stokes opted to take advantage of his downtime by flying out to New Zealand to visit his family while on a short-term deal with Canterbury.
Stokes played six matches during his stint with the side, although his form showed he was still rusty following his enforced lay-off.
The ECB also announced Stokes has been replaced by Dawid Malan in England’s one-day international squad to face Australia in the five-match series beginning January 14.
Skysports.com reports Stokes was named in England’s squad for the series last month, even though he remains unavailable for international selection while he waits to see if he will be charged with causing actual bodily harm following the famous fracas outside a Bristol nightclub in September.
Malan is uncapped in ODI cricket but made a fine impression on his Twenty20 debut last summer and has since gone on to establish himself in England’s Test team – including with a maiden century in the third Ashes Test in Perth.
England’s squad for the Twenty20 tri-series, starting on February 3 against Australia and New Zealand, will be confirmed next week, with the squad for the spring Test series against New Zealand announced after the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney, which gets underway on Thursday.
– This story originally appeared on thesun.co.uk