Jury retires to consider verdict in Ben Stokes' assault trial

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England cricket player Ben Stokes was found not guilty today after saying during his trial he was acting in self-defence when he knocked out two men in a street fight.

'Now that the legal proceedings have concluded, the disciplinary process for Ben Stokes and Alex Hales can be scheduled by the Cricket Discipline Commission [CDC],' an European Central Bank statement read.

At the moment that the verdict was delivered, Stokes' wife Clare broke down in tears, then Neil Fairbrother, his agent, did likewise.

However, Stokes and team-mate Alex Hales - who was with him when the brawl took place outside the club in Bristol, southwest England, on September 25 a year ago but was not charged - could still face bans.

The trial at the Bristol Crown Court began on August 6, and saw Stokes being accused of lying to the jury and admitting to have consumed alcohol on the night out which happened to be in the middle of England's home series against Windies.

Within hours of the verdict, the England Cricket Board (ECB) said Stokes would be included in their squad to play India in the third Test.

Ali then delivered a glancing blow to the shoulder of Kai Barry, a gay man who was out with friend William O'Connor in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol in the early hours of September 25 a year ago.

He said he had not been drunk but admitted he could not remember what had been said. Another of the accused men, Ryan Hale, was found not guilty during the trial on the direction of the judge.

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

"As soon as I see Mr Ali swing the bottle and physically hit them that's when I took the decision to get involved", Stokes said.

A bouncer had claimed that he witnessed Stokes mock Mr O'Connor and Mr Barry, but they later told ITV News that they were grateful to Stokes for his intervention. He then offered his hand to Ali, who shook it.

Within two hours of the end of the court case, Stokes was back in the England team for the third test at Trent Bridge which starts on Sunday.

The 6ft 2in cricketer added: "I didn't know they could be carrying more weapons on them".