England all-rounder Stokes denies affray charge


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Ben Birchall

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Ben Stokes arriving at court in Bristol on Tuesday morning

England cricketer Ben Stokes is to go on trial after being accused of fighting outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

The 26-year-old Durham all-rounder is charged with affray after a man allegedly suffered a broken eye socket.

Mr Stokes, who missed the Ashes after being suspended from England duties, is accused jointly with two others.

Ryan Hale, 26, and 28-year-old Ryan Aslam Ali, both from Bristol, will face trial on the same charge.

‘Clear my name’

The three were detained early on 25 September following a disturbance in the Clifton Triangle area of the city – several hours after England had played a one-day international against the West Indies.

District Judge Simon Cooper sent the case to trial at Bristol Crown Court, with the first hearing scheduled for 12 March.

The defendants were granted unconditional bail.

In a statement posted on Twitter last month after he was charged, Mr Stokes, from the Castle Eden area of Durham, said he was “keen to have an opportunity to clear my name”.

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