Ben Stokes was charged with affray arising from an alleged brawl outside a Bristol nightclub on 25 September 2017.
Following six days of evidence, Gordon Cole QC delivered his closing submissions at Bristol Crown Court on Monday and the jury was sent away to deliberate. The jury returned its unanimous not guilty verdict on Tuesday.
At the beginning of the trial, Gordon Cole QC successfully opposed the Crown’s application which sought to amend the indictment to include two further counts of assault. It was argued on Stokes’ behalf that the trial had been prepared on the charge of affray, and a change at such short notice would amount to an ambush. This case is another example of the challenges and criticisms faced by the CPS in the preparation of cases.
Stokes is back in the squad for Saturday’s third Test against India. Now that the criminal process is concluded, Stokes faces an internal disciplinary process which will be led by the Cricket Discipline Commission.