Ben Stokes NOT GUILTY: England cricketer cleared of affray

The verdict in Stokes’s trial is expected tomorrow or Wednesday

The incident saw the cricketer involved in a late-night brawl outside a Bristol nightclub, with the 27-year-old subsequently left out of last winter's Ashes Tour to Australia before being charged with affray in January of this year.

During a night out with England teammates after a match against the West Indies last September, Stokes had at least 10 drinks in the hours before the fight unfolded.

Ben Stokes walks from Bristol Crown Court during a break in his trial for affray.

One Twitter user created a poll asking whether Stokes should play cricket for England again if he was convicted but escaped a prison sentence.

Several observers reported that Stokes shook Mr Ali's hand after the verdicts were delivered.

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New Zealand-born Stokes said in his testimony last Friday he had a "significant memory blackout" but he was "absolutely not" an angry man who had lost all control.

A nightclub doorman, who said he was verbally abused by Stokes, said the cricket player also mimicked the mannerisms and voices of two gay men outside the entrance.

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".

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

"I didn't know, they could be carrying more weapons on them. Would it be fair to describe that as Alex Hales kicking the man in the head?"

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It was confirmed later on Tuesday that Stokes will rejoin the squad for the third Test, which gets under way 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'.

England lead the five-match series 2-0, reducing the pressure on the team management to rush back Stokes even if he is found not guilty.

Tony Miles, the solicitor for Mr Ali and Mr Hale, said: "Both our clients are delighted it's all 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".

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