Stokes cleared for England return despite affray charge

By AP,

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    England allrounder Ben Stokes has been cleared to resume his international career while he contests a charge of affray following a violent incident outside a nightclub in September.

    Suspended by England while he was under investigation by police, the 26-year-old is now free to play for his country, having been charged by prosecutors with an offence that could lead to a jail term if he is convicted.

    “Representing my country is one of the greatest things that I’ve ever been lucky enough to do, walking out on to the field with the England shirt on is a privilege and an honour,” Stokes wrote on Twitter.

    “I’m extremely delighted to be given this opportunity to do this again.

    “I can’t wait to get back out on a pitch with the 3 Lions on my chest and feeling that pride that we all get and giving everything for the team.”

    With no date set for his court case, the England and Wales Cricket Board said “it would not be fair, reasonable or proportionate for Ben Stokes to remain unavailable for a further indeterminate period.”

    Stokes was expected to join England’s squad for Twenty20 matches against New Zealand in February, the ECB said.

    “ECB fully respects the legal process,” the governing body said in a statement, “and the player’s intention to defend himself against the charge.”

    Stokes, one of the world’s leading cricketers in all formats, missed England’s Ashes series loss in Australia because of his suspension.

    © AP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • January 18th 2018 @ 12:20pm
      jameswm said | January 18th 2018 @ 12:20pm | ! Report


      I wonder what the ECB would have done if the police decided not to charge him?

      • January 18th 2018 @ 1:33pm
        Al said | January 18th 2018 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

        OBE, one would assume.

    • January 18th 2018 @ 2:08pm
      jameswm said | January 18th 2018 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

      The Independent’s Jonathan Liew said: .

      “How can you ban a cricketer from playing for England while police decide whether or not to press charges, and then lift the ban as soon as charges are brought?” wrote Liew.

      “(He is) perhaps the only cricketer in history to earn an international call-up *because* he has been charged with a crime.”

      He added: ““The ECB has been almost stupefyingly reactive, always fighting the nearest fire, not the largest. It banned Stokes because it feared the outrage of the public. Now it has reinstated him because it fears the outrage of Stokes.”

      In terms of an ECB ban, I have no problem with them taking into account time already served. He missed the Ashes series and ODI series because of the action.

    • January 18th 2018 @ 2:29pm
      Doctor Rotcod said | January 18th 2018 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

      This will be a difficult time for commentators,both professional and rank amateurs,like myself.
      Scenario 1.
      Ben Stokes as a last resort, used violence to settle a dispute,while intoxicated,in public and was filmed doing it.
      If we judge him by the standards prevailing in our society,he has behaved quite normally and should be mildly chastised for his actions.He has had summary justice carried out by being banned from doing something he loves doing and is quite good at. Let’s just get on with things and let the courts deal with the matter.
      Scenario 2.
      In the middle of a drunken brawl,Ben Stokes continued to inflict pain and damage on someone who could no longer defend himself.As a member of an elite group of sportsmen, he should have behaved much better and set a good example for young sporting people by walking away from the fight.He must remain banned until the matter is dealt with by the court. He has prior form and does not deserve leniency

      • January 18th 2018 @ 7:39pm
        Jacko said | January 18th 2018 @ 7:39pm | ! Report

        Perhaps the courts will look at all the details and decide guilt or innocents…Until that happens the presumption of innocence is mandatory

        We have had a 5 second replay shoved down our throats for months now…maybe the other 10 mins of footage shows something different……Guilty or innocent…….let the process take its course

    • January 18th 2018 @ 9:26pm
      nick said | January 18th 2018 @ 9:26pm | ! Report

      Thump! The sound of Englishmen falling off their moral high horses could be heard all over the world. haha

    • Roar Pro

      January 19th 2018 @ 12:04am
      Saurabh Gandle said | January 19th 2018 @ 12:04am | ! Report

      Great news but hope he is cleared of all charges soon.

      • January 19th 2018 @ 7:11am
        Jameswm said | January 19th 2018 @ 7:11am | ! Report


    • January 19th 2018 @ 8:17am
      Ouch said | January 19th 2018 @ 8:17am | ! Report

      Thats not the point Jacko. Stokes was the vice-captain of the English cricket team. Regardless of what the other 10 minutes of footage may or may not show, he was caught, on film, attacking a guy who had his hands up.
      Captains of national sporting sides are held to higher standards than the rest. Could you ever imagine Richie McCaw doing something like this?
      Although, I’m sure if it happened to be David Warner, you’d be screaming for a life ban.

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