The jury found Ben Stokes not guilty of affray.
The case involving England all-rounder Ben Stokes in the Bristol Crown Court has come to its verdict. The jury had taken a break to deliberate on the verdict, which could have had a big effect on his international career.
Stokes, who was arrested following an incident in Bristol in the early hours of September 25, had been on trial at Bristol Crown Court August 6. Stokes was accused of punching two gay men outside a Bristol pub. His co-defendant, Ryan Ali, was also found not guilty.
This means that Stokes could play in the third Test at Trent Bridge against India. The ECB will shortly convene a Cricket Discipline Commission, which will consider whether Stokes or Alex Hales, who was also present during the incident, should face any sanction.
ECB has noticed that the two cricketers were out late at night, while there were still two games to be played in the ODI series against West Indies. Any possible sanction will take into account that Stokes has already missed the Ashes tour as a result of the episode. Hales also missed two ODIs at the end of the 2017 English domestic season.
During the trial, the jury was shown body-worn video footage from the arresting police officer that appeared to show Hales denying he had been present at the incident, while both the prosecution and defense barristers alleged video footage showed him kicking Ali in the head.
During the trial, Stokes was alleged to have lied to the jury, mimicked and bullied two men on account of their homosexuality and acted like a football hooligan. He did not deny punching two men (Ali and Ryan Hale) but insisted he did so as he feared for his safety and the safety of others