Jury retires in England cricketer Ben Stokes' nightclub affray trial

James Anderson became the second bowler after Muttiah Muralitharan to pick 100 Test wickets at a particular venue

James Anderson became the second bowler after Muttiah Muralitharan to pick 100 Test wickets at a particular venue

Ben Stokes has been added to the England squad for the third Test against India, starting August 18 in Nottingham, after the all-rounder was found not guilty of affray on Tuesday.

Although the trial ends 24 hours before the team is announced for the third Test at Trent Bridge, Stokes is most likely to miss the game as "there is a fear he may be too exhausted to play at Trent Bridge", according to a report in The Telegraph.

Ben Stokes has been found not guilty of affray.

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".

"They were clearly drunk", he said.

Clare Stokes, 28, accompanied the cricketer to Bristol Crown Court everyday and wept with relief as he was cleared of affray following a seven-day trial.

The Bristol couple who Ben Stokes says he was defending from homophobic abuse say he "didn't deserve being put through a trial".

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Anna Midgley, representing Mr Ali, told the jury her client felt "regret" after watching the footage of himself brandishing a bottle after Mr Stokes and Mr Hales came over. "We're here to concentrate on the cricket and I'm sure that's what he'll want to get back to as soon as possible".

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

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". However, Stokes' England team-mate Jonny Bairstow welcomed the prospect of his swift return.

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.

Ali suffered a fractured eye socket and Hale was concussed after being punched by Stokes.

Another man charged with affray over the brawl, Ryan Hale, was acquitted midway through the trial after the judge issued a direction to the jury.

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