England all-rounder Ben Stokes might be preparing for the upcoming IPL season, where he will play for Rajasthan Royals; but in news that will not please his and England cricket fans, Stokes will miss the Lord’s Test against India in August.
England and India will play a series of five Test matches starting August 1, 2018. The Lord’s Test will be the second of the series, starting August 9, but Stokes’ date for the affray charge was set at August 6 at Bristol Crown Court.
26-year-old Stokes, who is in New Zealand with the England team, appeared in court via video link to confirm his identity and issued his not guilty plea, as his trial preparation hearing got underway in Bristol.
Stokes was ruled out of the Ashes 2017/18, after he was named in a case of brawl, which happened on the early morning of September 25, 2017, outside Mbargo nightclub in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol. Stokes stands accused of affray, alongside two other men, Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 26.
Bristol Magistrates' Court saw the three appear and were read out their charges by a clerk and all the three of them indicated not guilty pleas.
Stokes is being represented by Mr Gordon Cole, Hale is being defended by Michael Hall and Ali by Giles Nelson. The prosecutor is Lucy Organ. Hale and Ali attended in person to confirm their not-guilty pleas.
Allegedly, a 27-year-old man suffered a fractured eye socket in the incident, during which England cricketer Alex Hales was also present.
(With inputs from George Dobell/ESPNCricinfo.com)