England cricket star Ben Stokes found not guilty of affray

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The 27-year-old - whose co-defendant Ryan Ali was also found unanimously not guilty - had been charged following a brawl hours after England played the West Indies in a one-day global in Bristol, southwest England, in September last year. Stokes missed the second Test at Lord's this week due to his appearance at Bristol Crown Court.

"You know that Mr Stokes is a man of national reputation and you heard that Ryan Ali is a man who works for the emergency services", he said. The verdict is likely to come forth in the middle of the week after which the Cricket Discipline Commission of the European Central Bank will conduct their own hearing.

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.

And half way through the trial Stokes's legal team attempted to have the case against him dropped but this was also refused by the judge.

Ben Stokes has been found not guilty of affray. However, Stokes' England team-mate Jonny Bairstow welcomed the prospect of his swift return.

Stokes, 27, was accused of knocking unconscious two men, Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, in a brawl in Bristol, southwest England, last September.

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Stokes had had "at least 10 drinks" in the hours before the incident, which included a bottle of beer, two or three pints of lager, five or six vodka and lemonades and some Jagerbombs.

The two men shook hands as they exited the dock, according to BBC News.

He said his memory of the evening was "incomplete" because of the head injury he suffered when he was knocked out by Stokes. They are said to have walked off with Mr Hale and Ali.

"I just didn´t want any trouble so I was backing away, trying to retreat".

The end of the court proceedings means that Stokes could, in theory, be cleared to play in the third Test against India starting in Nottingham on Saturday.

A brief statement issued by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said they would review Stokes´s position following the conclusion of the trial.

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