Ben Stokes cleared of affray charges, to join squad for 3rd Test vs India

first_imgBen Stokes was found not guilty on charges of affray following the brawl between a group of men last September.Stokes’s hearing for his involvement in a pub brawl that happened on September 24 after England’s win over West Indies was taking place in the Bristol Crown Court.The hearing forced Stokes to sit out the second Test against India at Lord’s and was also left out of the 13-man squad for the third Test, starting on August 18 at Trent Bridge.Following the clearance, the England and Wales Cricket Board also released a statement that Stokes is set to join the rest of the squad for the third Test at Trent Bridge, starting on August 18. He was earlier left out of the England squad for the third Test, which remained unchanged.”Now that the legal proceedings have concluded, the disciplinary process for Ben Stokes and Alex Hales can be scheduled by the Cricket Discipline Commission [CDC].”Ben Stokes will now join the England squad for the third Specsavers Test against India, which starts at Trent Bridge on Saturday.”Considerable detail has been heard in this week-long court case and, in due course, there will be a range of matters for the Board to fully consider,” ECB said in a statement.Stokes, 27, was accused of knocking unconscious two men, Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, in a brawl in Bristol, southwest England, last September.Also read – Ben Stokes not picked for third Test as England name unchanged squadProsecutors said the all-rounder, who helped England to victory in the first Test against India, had lost control after drinking heavily earlier in the night.advertisementAfter being refused entry to the Mbargo nightclub, the cricketer had abused the doorman and then mocked two openly gay men, the court was told. Stokes, who was with fellow England international Alex Hales, then got into a fight with Ali and HaleAlso read – Ben Stokes had at least 7 vodka drinks and 3 beers before Bristol pub brawlStokes, who denied the charge, told the jury he had been acting in self-defence after stepping in to defend the gay couple who had been on the receiving end of homophobic abuse.He said he had not been drunk but admitted he could not remember what the had been said.Also read – Ben Stokes, amid legal battle, sends out emotional message for EnglandThe jury heard that Stokes had been in the nightclub earlier in the evening and had tried to return after it had stopped allowing entry, offering the doorman a bribe, but had been refused entry.The doorman said Stokes had become aggressive and insulted him before the altercation occurred. Footage from closed circuit TV and from a witness’s mobile phone showed the cricketer throwing a number of punches during the incident.Also read – Ben Stokes ‘mocked gay men’ before Bristol pub brawl: ProsecutorAli, 28, was found not guilty of affray while Hale was acquitted of the same charge part way through the trial at Bristol Crown Court.Stokes missed England’s Ashes tour to Australia last winter but returned to the national side in February.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img