The English cricketer Ben Stokes was found not guilty for affray over a fight outside a nightclub in which Stokes allegedly knocked out two men unconscious.
The 27 year old New-Zealand born was accused of knocking out Ryan Ali and Ryan Ale in a brawl outside a nightclub in Bristol hours after playing an international match against the West Indies in last September.
Stokes was with fellow Englishman and teammate Alex Hales.
Prosecutors said that the all-rounder had lost control due to heavy influence of alcohol. After being denied entry into the nightclub, Stokes abused the doorman, mocked the gay couple and got into a fight with them.
A camera footage from a witness's phone emerged in which Stokes was shown throwing punches.
The Englishman denied the charge and said he was acting in self- defence. He was actually defending the gay couple. Stokes was indefinitely suspended by the England cricket board (ECB) after the incident and missed the Ashes last winter which England lost 4-0 to Australia. However, he returned to international cricket in February.
Stokes played very well in the first test against India and took six wickets. He was axed from the second test squad due to the trial. He was found not guilty by the jury in an unanimous vote on Tuesday in Bristol.
Here's how everyone reacted on social media:
Ben Stokes not guilty verdict: Interview with the gay couple there that night; they say Ben Stokes was defending them, and they thank him for doing so. https://t.co/fLlVa56Dsh— David Conn (@david_conn) August 14, 2018
This Ben stokes trial proves that the law is different for people with substantial money— Joshua Bailey (@JCBailey_) August 14, 2018
An ECB spokesperson said:
"Now that the legal proceedings have concluded, the disciplinary process for Ben Stokes and Alex Hales can be scheduled by the cricket discipline commission. Ben Stokes will now join the England squad for the third Specsavers Test against India, which starts at Trent Bridge on Saturday. 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".
Ben Stokes will now join the squad for Nottingham test against India which will take place from 18th to 22nd August.