Sunday, 17 June, 2018

England cricketer Ben Stokes denies affray charge

England's Ben Stokes prepares to bowl during the fifth and final ODI cricket match between New Zealand and England The trial date has been set for August 6 Credit Getty Images
Kristopher Love | 12 March, 2018, 15:14

The England all-rounder on Monday appeared in court via video link from New Zealand.

Stokes was suspended from England's squad for the Ashes series after being accused of indulging in a brawl on morning of September 25, 2017. Stokes' England teammate Alex Hales was also present at the incident.

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

Ben Stokes has pleaded not guilty to a charge of affray and will miss the second Test between England and India at Lord's after a trial date was set for 6 August.

The judge told the three defendants: "You must be here without fail". He was introduced to His Honour Judge Blair QC, the Recorder of Bristol, and replied by saying: "Hi, Judge".

"You will remain on bail as before until August 6".

Their trial is set to start on August 6 and last between five and seven days.

The trial will take place at the Bristol Crown Court and is set to last five to seven days, ruling him out of the Lord's Test as reported by ESPNCricinfo.

Stokes made a return to worldwide cricket during England's One-Day global series in New Zealand which the visitors won 3-2 on Saturday. They were also strongly advised to provide defence statements, setting out in detail their case, by May 22.

Upon being charged Stokes was immediately named in the team's for the visit to New Zealand prompting criticism from the media for the England Cricket Board's handling of the incident.