Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Stokes to join England in New Zealand after court appearance

Stokes to join England in New Zealand after court appearance

England cricketer Ben Stokes leaves court in Bristol today. Stokes pleaded not guilty to the charge of affray following an incident outside a nightclub. AFP
England cricketer Ben Stokes leaves court in Bristol today. Stokes pleaded not guilty to the charge of affray following an incident outside a nightclub. AFP

Stokes to join England in New Zealand after court appearance

Ben Stokes will join the England squad in New Zealand after the star all-rounder pleaded not guilty today to a charge of affray over a nightclub incident that forced him out of the Ashes tour.

The 26-year-old all-rounder appeared at Bristol Magistrates’ Court in the southwest of England along with two other men and will next appear at Bristol Crown Court on March 12.

The England and Wales Cricket Board issued a statement shortly after Stokes’s first court appearance confirming his travel plans but he is not expected to make an immediate return after nearly five months out of the side.

“Having entered his plea at Bristol Magistrates’ Court today, Ben Stokes will now travel to New Zealand to join the England squad,” said an ECB spokesman.

“He departs tomorrow, Wednesday 14 February, and will arrive on Friday 16 February, ready to train with England teammates in Hamilton.”

The statement said any decision to include him in upcoming matches would be made by the England management team. He is not currently being considered for the ongoing International Twenty20 tri-series against New Zealand and Australia.

England start a five-match one-day international series against New Zealand on February 25, followed by two Tests.

“[The] ECB fully respects his right to defend himself in court and any obligations he has within the legal process will always take precedence over England commitments,” added the statement.

Stokes, who missed England’s 4-0 Ashes drubbing after being suspended from playing for England, appeared at the court in Bristol along with Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale.


Today’s court appearance follows the altercation during the early hours of September 25 last year, several hours after England had played a one-day international against the West Indies in the city.

It is alleged a 27-year-old man suffered a fractured eye socket in the incident, at which fellow England cricketer Alex Hales was also present.

Hales faced no charges.

Ali, Stokes and Hale spoke to confirm their names, dates of births, addresses and nationalities. The clerk read out the charges and all three defendants indicated not guilty pleas.

Stokes is accused jointly with Ali and Hale of using or threatening unlawful violence towards another.

The charge states that his “conduct was such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety”. The other two defendants face the same charge.

All three defendants elected to be tried by a jury at a crown court, with the offence carrying a maximum penalty of up to three years in prison.

“I have decided that your trial will take place at the crown court at Bristol. The first hearing date will be March 12,” said District Judge Simon Cooper. “You will be on bail.”

In a statement posted on Twitter last month after he was charged, Stokes said he was “keen to have an opportunity to clear my name”.

While England were in Australia, Stokes played a few games for Canterbury Kings during a month-long spell in New Zealand before returning home to England.

He is due to play in the Indian Premier League after being sold for £1.4 million ($1.9 million) to the Rajasthan Royals.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • Phnom Penh smothered in smelly, dangerous haze as landfill fire continues burning

    A putrid haze that has bedeviled Phnom Penh since Monday night will likely continue as a landfill in Dangkao district continued to burn on Friday, creating health risks for the capital's residents. Workers at the Dangkao landfill on site on Friday attributed the fire, which

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent to the family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria Police last week, appears to be written