Stokes called up to England's third Test squad

Stokes was found not guilty by a unanimous decision by the jury in Bristol after less than three hours of deliberations.

Published : Aug 14, 2018 20:00 IST , London

Ben Stokes has been recalled for the third Test against India.
Ben Stokes has been recalled for the third Test against India.

Ben Stokes has been recalled for the third Test against India.

Ben Stokes is in line to play in the third Test against India after being recalled to the squad following his acquittal on a charge of affray on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old New Zealand-born all-rounder, who took six wickets in the first Test victory over India, missed the second Test due to the trial.

“Ben Stokes will now join the England squad for the third Test against India, which starts at Trent Bridge on Saturday,” read the statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

READ: Ben Stokes found not guilty of affray

However, Stokes and team-mate Alex Hales -- who was with him when the brawl took place outside the club in Bristol, southwest England, on September 25 last year but was not charged -- could still face bans.

“Now that the legal proceedings have concluded, the disciplinary process for Ben Stokes and Alex Hales can be scheduled by the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC),” the ECB added in their statement.

“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.”

Shortly before Stokes' England recall was confirmed, his lawyer Paul Lunt read a lengthy statement underlining the 27-year-old's desire to move on with his career.

Lunt said: "In addition to the extreme stress placed on Ben and his family by the trial, the intervention that night has also cost Ben the England vice-captaincy, his place on an Ashes tour and his place in a number of other England matches.

"The past 11 months have served to highlight to Ben just how highly he values his position as an England representative, both in terms of the privilege that role entails and the responsibilities that accompany it.

"Now that the trial is over, Ben is keen to getting back to cricket being his sole focus."

The statement also contained criticism of how the incident was covered by sections of the media.

"[Tuesday's] verdict represents the end of an 11-month ordeal for Ben during which time he has had to maintain his silence at times when many on social media and in certain parts of the press have predetermined his guilt long before the trial began," Lunt added.

"Over the last week, the jury have been able to see and hear all of the evidence and not merely what the media have chosen to report.

"The evidence available to the jury included the full range of CCTV footage, which shows exactly what happened in September. The jury's decision that Ben is not guilty fairly reflects the truth of what happened that night."

(With inputs from AFP)

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