Ben Stokes added to England Test squad
Stokes cleared of affray charge, awaits CDC hearing along with Hales
England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been found not guilty of affray following a brawl, which took place outside a nightclub in Bristol in the early hours of September 25 last year. After a week of court proceedings, the cricketer, along with co-accused Ryan Ali, was cleared of the charge by a jury on Tuesday (August 14).
Stokes has repeatedly defended his actions since his arrest following the fracas and had pleaded not guilty to affray back in March. He also revealed that he was defending two gay men during the incident.
The 27-year-old had allegedly punched Ali, who then suffered a broken eye socket, and had also knocked out another defendant Ryan Hale during the incident following England’s ODI victory over West Indies.
During the trial, the cricketer told the jury: “All my actions were in self-defense and fearing for my safety.”
The jury made up of six men and six women deliberated two and a half hours before reaching the verdict.
Stokes missed the second Test between India and England, due to the trial for affray. However, he has now been added to the squad for the third Test.
The England Cricket Board has issued a brief statement saying it would review Stokes’ position following the conclusion of the trial. Stokes, and teammate Alex Hales, who was also present during the incident, will now face a Cricket Disciplinary Committee [CDC] hearing within 48 hours of the conclusion of the legal process. The CDC will decide if the two cricketers will face any sanctions for getting involved in such fracas and being out late at night with two games left to play in the series against West Indies.
In case of any sanction, the CDC will take into account that Stokes has already missed a total of six Tests (including the five-match Ashes series), seven ODIs, and four T20Is due to the fallout from the occurrence in Bristol.
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