Wed, Aug 15, 2:08pm by Staff Writer
England cricketer Ben Stokes has been found not guilty of affray after a fight near a Bristol nightclub almost 12 months ago.
The 27-year-old has played in 43 Test matches for England, including their 31-run win against India in the first Test at Edgbaston a fortnight ago.
Stokes has been re-instated to the England squad after missing their innings and 159-run second Test win at Lord’s earlier this week.
England is $1.56 at Sportsbet to win the third Test and take a decisive 3-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
India is $4.15 to win the Test at Trent Bridge, while the draw is paying $5.25.
Wednesday morning’s decision comes as a relief to Stokes, who is now able to focus on his cricketing career after fetching the highest price in the Indian Premier League’s player auction this year, at $2.68 million.
The all-rounder has missed seven of England’s past 11 Tests, including its most recent tour of Australia.
He was recalled to the team for the first Test against India, where he took four wickets for 40 runs in the second innings, in a crucial spell for the hosts.
Team-mate Alex Hales, who is not involved in England’s Test series, was present with Stokes in Bristol but did not face criminal charges.
The fight happened just hours after England had played a one-day international against the West Indies at the County Ground in Bristol.
An English Cricket Board statement read: “Now that the legal proceedings have concluded, the disciplinary process for Ben Stokes and Alex Hales can be scheduled by the Cricket Discipline Commission.”
It is likely that Stokes will be charged for bringing the game into disrepute, with his penalty, if any, to be determined by the board.
Stokes has averaged 34.28 runs with the bat and has hit six centuries in his 43 Test matches.
In his One Day International career, Stokes has played 40 matches, with a top score of 102 runs.
He now removes himself from the shadow of these criminal proceedings and will certainly be in the frame for England’s World Cup campaign in 2019.
England and Wales will host the six-week tournament starting on 30 May 2019.
England are favourites to win the event at $3.50 at Sportsbet, followed by India at $4.33 and 2015 winners Australia at $5.50.
England v India Test Series Sportsbet Markets
England $1.56 Draw $5.25 India $4.15
England $1.02 Draw $14 India $15
Correct Series Score
England 5-0 $3.50
England 4-1 $4
England 4-0 $4.50
India 3-2 $34
2019 ICC World Cup Odds
South Africa $6
New Zealand $8
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