Stokes court date clashes with India Test | cricketnetwork.com

Stokes court date clashes with India Test

12 March 2018

England allrounder scheduled for court case from August 6 at Bristol Crown Court

Ben Stokes' return to international cricket on home soil is set to be interrupted in August by a court case regarding his alleged involvement in a street brawl that occurred in Bristol last September.

Stokes took his first steps back in England colours in an ODI in New Zealand last month, and went on to play all five matches in the series against the Black Caps. 

The England allrounder was made unavailable for the Magellan Ashes following the controversy, in which footage emerged of a man alleged to be Stokes repeatedly punching another man.

Stokes today pleaded not guilty to affray via video link from New Zealand, meaning the matter will instead be tried by a jury. 

His co-accused, Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale also pleaded not guilty on the grounds of "self-defence and defence of another".

Sky Sports was tonight reporting that the Stokes court case will begin in Bristol Crown Court on August 6, and is expected to last between five and seven days. 

England's first Test against India is on August 1 at Edgbaston, while the second Test at Lord's begins on August 9. 

Stokes made 63no and claimed figures of 2-42 in the second ODI of his return series, and is expected to return to England's Test team for the two-match series against New Zealand, beginning on March 22 in Auckland. 

"Our team are so close that it felt like I'd never been away," he told BBC Test Match Special after that England win last month.

"I kept in contact with everyone and then coming back into the changing room was really easy. We've got a brilliant team and they just made it feel as normal as ever.

"Personally, there was a bit more emotion than there normally is because that's where I've been working to whilst I've been at home, so it was a really good feeling walking off at the end."