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Ben Stokes pleads not guilty to affray

A court sketch of Ben Stokes at an earlier hearing

Stokes, of Castle Eden, Durham, Ali, of Forest Road, Bristol, and Hale, of Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, will stand trial on August 6.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the Lord's Test against India after he submitted a not guilty plea to a charge of affray, leading to his trial date being set. Stokes appeared at the hearing on Monday through video conference and pleaded not guilty along with Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, who were present at the Bristol Crown Court. England's second test against India starts August 9 at Lord's in London.

Stokes missed the Ashes series with England unable to select him for overseas tours until they had learned if he would be charged or not. "You will remain on bail as before".

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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 returned to England's set up for the limited- overs leg of their tour of New Zealand, scoring 141 runs and taking five wickets in the 3-2 ODI series win. Stokes will fly to India to play for Rajasthan Royals in IPL after completing the ongoing series against New Zealand.

Meanwhile, England National Selector James Whitaker will step down from his role at the end of March after the European Central Bank announced that it will be introducing a "new approach to scouting, assessing and selecting player".

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