Ben Stokes
England all-rounder Ben Stokes played for New Zealand's Canterbury Kings in December 2017 Getty Images

Former England captain Nasser Hussain has urged the Three Lions to play Ben Stokes in the first one-day international against New Zealand in Hamilton next week.

Stokes, 26, joined his England teammates in New Zealand last week following a five-month absence from international cricket.

The Durham all-rounder was arrested in September last year on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm in an incident near a Bristol night club. He appeared at Bristol Magistrates Court on 13 February and pleaded not guilty to a charge of affray.

Since his arrest, Stokes has not played any outdoor cricket except for six limited-overs matches for New Zealand outfit Canterbury Kings in December 2017.

Hussain told Sky Sports that Stokes should go straight back into the England team for the five-match one-day series against New Zealand, despite his lengthy absence from international cricket.

"You need to look after the lad, [England coach] Trevor [Bayliss] is right, he's played a lot of indoor cricket, he played out here for Canterbury so he has played outdoors," he said.

"I can't see the point of going through all the hassle and all the criticism of getting him out here when some have felt, 'No, don't!' And then asking him to carry the drinks.

"He's too good a player to be carrying the drinks, if he's out here and he's fit, he should play. Ben Stokes gets into any of your sides as long as he is there and available."

England beat New Zealand by two runs in a Twenty20 game in Hamilton on 18 February, but failed to qualify for the final of the trans-Tasman tri-series as a result of their inferior net run rate.

The Three Lions play five one-day games and two Test matches against New Zealand at the conclusion of the tri-series.

Stokes was sold for £1.4m ($2m) to Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League auction in January. The seven-week long tournament gets underway in India on 7 April.