Jonny Bairstow 'delighted' with Ben Stokes affray verdict

Marcus Newton
August 14, 2018

All-rounder Ben Stokes has been rushed straight back into the England squad for the third test against India after being found not guilty of affray.

Stokes said he was acting in self-defence. He also insisted he had to intervene as Ali, who was left with a broken eye socket and Hale were mocking the two openly gay men.

Anna Midgley, representing Mr Ali, told the jury her client felt "regret" after watching the footage of himself brandishing a bottle after Mr Stokes and Mr Hales came over.

However, Stokes and team-mate Alex Hales - who was with him when the brawl occurred - is likely to face a charge of disrepute by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) which will be heard by the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) chaired by Tim O'Gorman, a former Derbyshire batsman and qualified solicitor.

The 27-year-old is facing a trial for his involvement in a Bristol nightclub brawl, which took place last year in September.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank will set up a Cricket Discipline Commission that will take stock of Stokes' involvement in this physical altercation outside a Bristol pub a year ago.

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.

Ben Stokes has been left out of England’s squad for the third Test
Ben Stokes has been left out of England’s squad for the third Test

A nightclub doorman, who said he was verbally abused by Stokes, said the cricket player also mimicked the mannerisms and voices of two gay men outside the entrance.

Stokes, who was arrested following an incident in Bristol in the early hours of September 25, had been on trial at Bristol Crown Court since August 6.

He said he had not been drunk but admitted he could not remember what the had been said. "They just want to get in with their lives".

Ali denied that Mr O'Connor and Mr Barry were being "a bit of a nuisance" and he and Mr Hale were getting "irate" with them.

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

Judge Blair told jurors they must consider the defendants' good character describing Mr Stokes as a "man of national reputation" and Ryan Ali as working for the emergency services.

He said that deciding to use a bottle as a weapon would be a "difficult decision for me to take".

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