Ben Stokes recalled to England Test squad after not guilty verdict

Jo Caldwell
August 14, 2018

'Ben Stokes will now join the England squad for the third Specsavers Test against India, which starts at Trent Bridge on Saturday.

Stokes played a key role in England's 31-run victory in the series opener at Birmingham, taking four wickets in the second innings including that of skipper Virat Kohli.

The Bristol couple who Ben Stokes says he was defending from homophobic abuse say he "didn't deserve being put through a trial".

"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]", the European Central Bank release said.

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The 27-year-old all-rounder punched Ryan Hale, 27, to the ground and then knocked out Ryan Ali, 28, during the fracas in the early hours of September 25 last year in Bristol city centre.

Stokes still faces European Central Bank disciplinary proceedings but, after the jury came back with their verdicts having deliberated for just three hours, the Durham all-rounder is hoping to make cricket has main focus.

As the verdicts were delivered at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday, Stokes closed his eyes and then looked up. He is believed to have had at least 10 drinks, including vodka and beer before the fight broke out at around 2 am, hours after England had beaten West Indies in an ODI fixture.

He said he had not been drunk but admitted he could not remember what the had been said.

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The England and Wales Cricket Board said it "will make an assessment of Ben Stokes' availability after the trial in Bristol has concluded". He also mocked two gay men before getting knocking the two men - Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale - unconscious. "We're here to concentrate on the cricket and I'm sure that's what he'll want to get back to as soon as possible". Stokes, who was with fellow England global Alex Hales, then got into a fight with Ali and Hale.

Stokes and Ali tussled and fell to the floor and when the sportsman got back to his feet Mr Hale was stood in front of him.

Stokes, of Stockton Road, Castle Eden, Durham, and Ali, of Forest Road, Bristol, each deny a charge of affray.

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