Scandal-hit England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been charged with affray for his involvement in the street brawl incident outside a nightclub in September last year.
Stokes, who was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm, missed the recently concluded Ashes series in Australia as England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had opted to suspend him given the pending verdict of Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
However, the maverick all-rounder was selected in England’s T20I team last week that will play a tri-series involving Australia and New Zealand from February 3.
After the verdict on Monday (January 15), Stokes issued a statement through his official Twitter account wherein the 26-year-old expressed his gratitude for everyone who stood by him in this difficult time. He also cleared his stance on the matter by stating that he cooperated with the police throughout the investigation process.
"I want to thank all those who have continued to support me in relation to the Bristol incident, not least my family, friends, fans and teammates. I gave a full and detailed account of my actions to the police on the day – and have cooperated at each step of the police inquiry,” Stokes wrote in his tweet.
"I am keen to have an opportunity to clear my name but, on advice, the appropriate time to do this is when the case comes to trial. The CPS' decision to charge me, as well as Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, at least means that my account of what happened that night can come out in court and be made public. Until then, my focus is very much on cricket," he further added.
My statement on Bristol ⤵️...???? pic.twitter.com/xSStYeWPbJ— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) January 15, 2018
Earlier, Stokes was given permission by ECB to sign a contract in the forthcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) auction even if he is on suspension from the national duty.