London : England cricketer Ben Stokes was found not guilty of affray by a jury in less than three hours of deliberations on Tuesday following a trial at Bristol Crown Court.
The 27-year-old — whose co-defendant Ryan Ali was also found not guilty — had been charged following a brawl hours after England played the West Indies in a one-day international in Bristol, southwest England, in September last year.
Stokes has subsequently been added to the England squad for the third Test starting on Saturday in Nottingham. Owing to this court case, Stokes had missed the second Test, which England won by an innings and 159 runs to take a 2-0 series’ lead. The all-rounder had played a handsome role in the first Test in Birmingham. He had a match haul of 6-113 across two innings.
Meanwhile, the ECB will set up a Cricket Discipline Commission that will take stock of Stokes’ involvement in this physical altercation outside a Bristol pub last year. He, along with teammate Alex Hales, could yet be fined and suspended, however it will be some time before that conclusion can be reached.