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Stokes pleaded not guilty of affray charges

English all-rounder Ben Stokes, who had been charged with affray after an incident in Bristol last September, pleaded not guilty on ground of self-defense at the Bristol Magistrate Court on Tuesday morning.

Stokes pleaded not guilty of affray charges

The 26 year old Stokes, will now join with the team in the tour of New Zealand, confirmed by the England Cricket Board (ECB).

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The prolific all-rounder was not considered for the Ashes in Australia when he was charged of the misconduct. Later the board also suspended him.

The further trial on the incident will take place at the Bristol Crown Court on March 12 but Ben Stokes will not have to attend that.

An ECB spokesperson therefore said, “Having entered his plea at Bristol Magistrates Court today, Ben Stokes will now travel to New Zealand to join the England squad.

“He departs tomorrow, Wednesday 14 February, and will arrive on Friday 16 February, ready to train with England team mates in Hamilton.

“Any decision to include him in upcoming matches will be made by Head Coach Trevor Bayliss and the England management team. He is not currently being considered for the ongoing International T20 Tri-Series.

“ECB fully respects his right to defend himself in court and any obligations he has within the legal process will always take precedence over England commitments.

“It has been confirmed that he will not be required to return to the UK for the first hearing at Bristol Crown Court on Monday 12 March,” it stated.

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