England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been charged with ‘affray’ over the incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September.
He had been celebrating until the early morning with his teammate Alex Hales when he was involved in a fight which saw a man taken to hosital with facial injuries.
That led to Stoke’s immediate suspension from the Ashes Test team while the matter was investigated. He was included in the ODI team too, in the hope that the matter would be sorted out. England will now have to do without his services, at least until the court case is concluded.
The England and Wales Cricket Board released a statement saying it could convene within 48 hours to decide on Stokes’ availability to represent England.
The 26-year-old has been charged along with two men from Bristol.
The Crown Prosecution Service said it had authorised the police to charge three men with affray in connection with the incident.
‘Ben Stokes, 26, Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 26, are all due to appear before Bristol Magistrates’ Court on a date to be fixed in relation to this charge.’
Affray, or public assault, carries a maximum penalty, when tried in the magistrates’ court, of a fine or up to six months in prison.
After the incident, two witnesses came forward to say that Stokes had been defending a man from a homophobic attack.
Stokes released a statement via social media:
My statement on Bristol ⤵️…???? pic.twitter.com/xSStYeWPbJ
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) January 15, 2018