England’s Stokes charged with affray

Ben Stokes

LONDON, (Reuters) – England cricketer Ben Stokes has been charged with affray following an incident in the city of

Bristol last September, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said yesterday.

Stokes, 26, and two other men are due to appear before Bristol Magistrates’ Court at a date to be fixed.

The Durham all-rounder has not played for England since the incident outside a nightclub, missing out on the Ashes tour to Australia. He did play in six domestic matches in New Zealand in December.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has also given Stokes permission to play in the Indian Premier League, which starts in April.

The CPS said Avon and Somerset police had passed on a file of evidence on Nov. 29 in relation to the incident, which left a 27-year-old man with a fractured eye socket, and further material was received in late December.

The other two men charged were named as Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 26.

Stokes was named last week in England’s Twenty20 squad for a Tri-series against Australia and New Zealand next month but his participation was dependent on whether he was charged.

Stokes issued a statement thanking those who had continued to support him.

“I gave a full and detailed account of my actions to the

police on day one – the same day as the incident – and have cooperated at each step of the police inquiry,” he said on Twitter.

“I am keen to have an opportunity to clear my name but, on advice, the appropriate time to do this is when the case comes to trial.

“The CPS’ decision to charge me, as well as Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, at least means that my account of what happened that night can come out in court and be made public. Until then, my focus is very much on cricket.”

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