CRICKET- England all-rounder Ben Stokes has pleaded not guilty to a charge of affray in court on Tuesday.
Stokes was accused of involvement in a brawl at a nightclub in Bristol on September 25 last year. It was alleged that a 27 year old man suffered a fractured eye socket in the incident.
Stokes along with Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale appeared at a magistrates’ court in the southwestern city of Bristol. The other two also pleaded not guilty and all three defendants elected to be tried by a jury at a crown court.
“I have decided that your trial will take place at the crown court at Bristol. The first hearing date will be March 12,” said District Judge Simon Cooper. “You will be on bail.”
The brawl and the subsequent case cost Stokes his place in the Ashes tour.
Stokes to join England in New Zealand
Stokes will now join his England team in New Zealand where they will play a five match one-day international series, followed by two Tests.
“Having entered his plea at Bristol Magistrates’ Court today, Ben Stokes will now travel to New Zealand to join the England squad,” said an ECB spokesman.
“He departs tomorrow, Wednesday 14 February, and will arrive on Friday 16 February, ready to train with England team-mates in Hamilton.”
His inclusion in the squad does not confirm he will play in the team.