England cricketer Ben Stokes pleads not guilty to affray


On Monday at Bristol Crown Court, he denied the charges of affray via video call from New Zealand where he is part of England's squad.

Stokes has already missed the Ashes, having been charged along with two other men - Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale - following an incident in Bristol in September, when he was arrested during a night out after the one-day global against West Indies.

Christchurch-born Stokes missed the 4-0 loss in the summer's Ashes series after being suspended but England declared him available once more after he pleaded not guilty last month.

The judge ordered the three defendants to provide defence statements by 22 May.

It was around 10.30pm in New Zealand when Stokes appeared by video link.

"You will remain on bail as before until August 6".

The charges relate to an incident which happened in Bristol in the early hours of the morning on September 25 and allegedly resulted in a man suffering a broken eye socket.

Stokes was present in court to issue his not-guilty plea and confirm his identity as his trial preparation hearing got underway in Bristol.

The Durham all-rounder will be absent from the Second Test against India at Lord's, which begins on August 9.

Stokes played all five matches in England's 3-2 victory in the 50-over series against New Zealand and was named Man of the Match in the second of them.

England cricketer Ben Stokes has pleaded not guilty after being accused of fighting outside a Bristol nightclub in September.