Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Ben Stokes denies affray charge during 15-minute court hearing

Ben Stokes denies affray charge during 15-minute court hearing

India are set to tour England for five Tests, three ODIs and as many T20Is. The trial is expected to last between five and seven days.

The England cricketer Ben Stokes has appeared in crown court via video-link from New Zealand and pleaded not guilty to affray.

He confirmed his identity and his plea of not guilty.

Two other men charged along with Stokes also pleaded not guilty to the same charges. The 26-year-old in with the England cricket team touring New Zealand.

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Stokes should be able to play in the First Test at Edgbaston even though it does not finish until August 5.

Stokes hoped the trial would be scheduled while no cricket is taking place but, with such a packed itinerary, that was always unlikely. Stokes is due to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after being sold for INR 12.5 crores to the Rajasthan Royals.

Stokes was involved in a street brawl in Bristol after a night out on September 25 of past year. Another man suffered a fractured eye socket.

Stokes, Ali and Hale are jointly charged with affray in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol on 25 September past year - several hours after England had played a one-day global against the West Indies.

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Batsman Hales had not been charged with any offence and had his European Central Bank suspension lifted in December.

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But his ban was lifted when the Crown Prosecution Service made a decision to charge him with affray.

Ben Stokes is now in New Zealand with the England team. They were also strongly advised to provide defence statements, setting out in detail their case, by May 22. Stokes is being represented by Mr. Gordon Cole, Hale is being defended by Michael Hall and Ali by Giles Nelson.

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