Ben Stokes added to England squad for third Test against India after being found not guilty of affray

All-rounder could play a part in Saturday’s third Test at Trent Bridge after he was cleared of affray

Jack de Menezes
Tuesday 14 August 2018 15:31
Comments
Ben Stokes aims to resume England career after affray acquittal

Ben Stokes has been added to the England squad for the third Test against India, which begins on Saturday at Trent Bridge, after the all-rounder was found not guilty of affray on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old missed the second-Test victory over India last week while he attended a trial in Bristol in relation to his arrest after a late-night incident in the city centre last September.

Stokes has been cleared of a charge of affray, and fewer than two hours after the verdict was read out inside the Bristol Crown Court, he was added to the England squad for this week’s third match against India.

An England and Wales Cricket Board spokesperson said: “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].

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

“Considerable detail has been heard in this week-long court case and, in due course, there will be a range of matters for the board to fully consider.”

A unanimous jury verdict cleared Stokes of affray, along with co-defendant Ryan Ali, and the ECB have since confirmed that Stokes has been added to the 13-man squad that they announced on Monday for the third Test at Trent Bridge.

Both Stokes and his teammate Alex Hales, who was also involved in the incident, now face an internal disciplinary hearing with the ECB's Cricket Discipline Commission, but it is understood that the process could take weeks to conclude, leaving them free to return to England duty.

Stokes left Bristol Crown Court a free man after being cleared of affray (AFP/Getty)

Following the street fight last September outside a Bristol nightclub, England ruled their premier all-rounder out of the remainder of the ongoing one-day international series against West Indies and then last winter's Ashes – before his return during the tour of New Zealand.

Stokes stayed in the team this summer, apart from a spell out with a hamstring injury, until he had to miss last week's Lord's Test victory over India - because of a clash with his court case.

He is now on course to return to help Joe Root's hosts as they bid to extend a 2-0 series lead, with three more matches to play.

The England all-rounder wants to get back to focusing on cricket (Getty )

Stokes' solicitor Paul Lunt, in a statement read out after the England all-rounder was cleared, said: "Now that the trial is over, Ben is keen to get back to cricket being his sole focus."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan was among the first to react to Stokes' acquittal.

Before the ECB statement was published, writing on Twitter, Vaughan urged England to clear him to play again as soon as possible.

He wrote: "I think the fact he missed the whole of the Winter in Australia is punishment enough for Ben Stokes. I personally think now he has been proven to be Not Guilty he should be allowed to play."

Stokes' team-mate Jonny Bairstow also voiced his hopes, in advance of the ECB's latest announcement, that he and Stokes would be playing together again soon.

Stokes is available for the third Test between England and India

He told Sky Sports News: "It has been a long 10 months for him and his family. I'm delighted and hope we can see him back in an England shirt very soon."

Stokes' county club Durham issued a one-line statement confirming he will not be available for their Vitality Blast fixture on Friday - at a time when he will instead be preparing with England in Nottingham on the eve of the Test match.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in