Jury finds England cricketer Ben Stokes not guilty of affray

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The 27-year-old is facing a trial for his involvement in a Bristol nightclub brawl, which took place last year in September.

Bristol Crown Court was told that Stokes was drunk and "enraged" after a bouncer refused to allow him and England team-mate Alex Hales back into a nightclub hours after England had beaten the West Indies in a one-day worldwide in Bristol.

Who exactly was responsible for starting the fight is unclear, but Stokes said he intervened when two gay men received homophobic abuse outside the Mbargo nightclub, in the Clifton area of Bristol.

Ali, 28, was found not guilty of affray while Hale was acquitted of the same charge part way through the trial at Bristol Crown Court.

"Considerable detail has been heard in this week-long court case and, in due course, there will be a range of matters for the Board to fully consider", European Central Bank said in a statement.

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Stokes' England team-mate Jonny Bairstow, one of several players who were out with Stokes earlier that evening, said it was great news on both a personal and sporting front.

Stokes' wife, Clare, and agent, Neil Fairbrother broke down after the verdict while the cricketer closed his eyes in relief without showing a lot of emotions.

Ben Stokes will miss the third England vs India Test too due to the ongoing trial as England, on Monday named an unchanged 13-man squad for the upcoming game.

The jurors, who will consider their verdicts on Tuesday, have been told the precise start to the violence is unknown but Mr Ali swung a beer bottle at Mr Stokes's team-mate Mr Hales.

Stokes is accused of knocking Ali to the floor, with fellow cricketer Hales then apparently kicking his head and stamping on him as he lay on the ground.

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"There is no place for guessing or speculating".

England lead the five-match series 2-0, reducing the pressure on the team management to rush back Stokes even if he is found not guilty.

He said he and Ali then "scuffled", adding: "I felt the need to defend myself".

A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: "The evidence of Mr O'Connor and Mr Barry was disclosed to the defence but it was not deemed necessary to call them as witnesses in the case". "They just want to get in with their lives".

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