Published: Tue, August 14, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

England cricketer Ben Stokes cleared of affray

England cricketer Ben Stokes cleared of affray

The 27-year-old - whose co-defendant Ryan Ali was also found unanimously not guilty - had been charged following a brawl hours after England played the West Indies in a one-day worldwide in Bristol, southwest England, in September last year.

Stokes said he would have had a bottle of beer after the match, two or three pints at the hotel, five or six vodka and lemonades and then "potentially had some Jagerbombs" in Mbargo. He then offered his hand to Ali, who shook it.

Although the trial ends 24 hours before the team is announced for the third Test at Trent Bridge, Stokes is most likely to miss the game as "there is a fear he may be too exhausted to play at Trent Bridge", according to a report in The Telegraph.

He said Stokes was mimicking the mannerisms and voices of two gay men, William O'Connor and Kai Barry, outside the club but the cricketer insisted they were exchanging "banter" about his expensive white leather shoes. He was adjudged the man-of-the-match on his return from injury.

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"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]", said the European Central Bank in a statement.

Reacting to the verdict, an Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: "We carried out a thorough independent investigation into the events of 25 September before passing a comprehensive file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service which subsequently made the decision to charge".

He added: "I would have to perceive a significant threat to do that".

CCTV footage shows Ali waving a bottle towards Mr Hales before delivering a glancing blow to the shoulder of Mr Barry.

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A statement from the ECB said: 'The ECB will make an assessment of Ben Stokes's availability after the trial in Bristol has concluded'.

"I felt I was going to be attacked".

Stokes responded: "He was abusing my two friends for being gay".

Ali, 28, was found not guilty of affray while Hale was acquitted of the same charge part way through the trial at Bristol Crown Court.

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