Stokes pleads not guilty, faces August trial

Ben Stokes during England v New Zealand cricket match

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 has pleaded not guilty to charges of affray and as a result will miss the Lord's Test against India, which is scheduled to begin from August 9.

The England all-rounder is now on tour in New Zealand and appeared via video link on Monday morning.

Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale who are the co-defendants of the case, also pleaded not guilty of the charges.

The trial is set for August 6, which effectively rules the all-rounder out of England's Test match against India three days later. The first of five Tests starts in Birmingham on August 1.

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"The new approach will allow us to see more players throughout the county game, more often, and simplify the selection process", said director of England Cricket Andrew Strauss. A 27-year-old man had a damaged eye socket due to Stokes' punch.

India are set to travel to England and Australia in the latter half of this year after a resounding limited overs series win on foreign soil in South Africa. Stokes is due to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after being sold for INR 12.5 crores to the Rajasthan Royals.

Stokes made a return to worldwide cricket during England's One-Day global series in New Zealand which the visitors won 3-2 on Saturday.

Stokes, Ali and Hale are jointly charged with affray in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol on September 25 a year ago.

Stokes and Hales will also face an European Central Bank disciplinary hearing once the criminal proceedings have concluded.

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