Stokes' England teammate next in crosshairs in affray case


Reacting to the verdict, an Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: "We carried out a thorough independent investigation into the events of 25 September before passing a comprehensive file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service which subsequently made the decision to charge".

Bristol Crown Court has heard the precise start to the violence was unknown but Stokes is alleged to have been aggressive towards doorman Andrew Cunningham, who refused the two cricketers entry as it was after 2am, by calling him a "c***" and insulting his gold teeth and tattoos.

One Twitter user created a poll asking whether Stokes should play cricket for England again if he was convicted but escaped a prison sentence.

Stokes, who denied the charge, told the jury he had been acting in self-defence after stepping in to defend the gay couple who had been on the receiving end of homophobic abuse.

England thumped India by an innings and 159 runs in the second test at Lord's on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

He said he had not been drunk but admitted he could not remember what had been said.

Stokes, 27, was accused of knocking unconscious two men, Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, in a brawl in Bristol, southwest England, last September.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said it would now be scheduling its own disciplinary process for Stokes and team-mate Alex Hales.

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Prosecutors allege that Ali used a bottle during the fight, threatening Mr Hales and delivering a glancing blow to the shoulder of Mr Barry.

And when he intervened, telling the pair: "You shouldn't be taking the piss because they are gay", Stokes said Ali replied: "Shut the **** up or I'll bottle you".

"I would have to perceive a significant threat to do that".

"I can hear myself saying "Move away".

Mr Hales, who was interviewed under caution but never arrested in relation to the incident, was seen on the CCTV stamping and kicking Ali in the head as he lay on the floor.

"We knew that they were prepared to use weapons that could do serious injury and I feared they could have other weapons with them".

Ryan Ali, who was also charged with affray, has also been acquitted.