Ben Stokes charged over nightclub brawl
CRICKET: England all-rounder Ben Stokes will front court after being charged with affray following a late-night incident which kept him out of England's Ashes campaign.
Britain's Crown Prosecution Service announced on Tuesday Stokes and two other men had been charged in relation to the September incident outside a Bristol nightclub during which a man sustained a fractured eye socket.
Stokes, who is due to appear before Bristol Magistrates' Court at a date to be fixed, took to social media after being charged to say he was "keen to have an opportunity” to clear his name.
"I gave a full and detailed account of my actions to the police on day one, the same day as the incident, and have co-operated at each step of the police inquiry,” he tweeted.
"The CPS' decision ... at least means that my account of what happened that night can come out in court and be made public.”
The 26-year-old has not played for England since the incident, missing out on the Ashes series.
He did play in six domestic matches in New Zealand in December and the England and Wales Cricket Board has also given him permission to play in the Indian Premier League, which starts in April.
Stokes was named last week in England's Twenty20 squad for the tri-series against Australia and New Zealand next month but his participation was dependent on whether he was charged.
The ECB confirmed its selection panel will now meet to make a call on Stokes' involvement with the national side.
"ECB is aware that Ben Stokes has been charged with affray in relation to an incident in Bristol in September,” an ECB spokesperson said.
"The board will now convene within 48 hours to decide on Ben Stokes' availability to represent England at this stage.
"A further announcement will be made in due course.”