Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England all-rounder Ben Stokes has issued a statement after being charged with affray by the Crown Prosecution Service.
The charge stems from Stokes’ involvement in a street brawl outside Mbargo nightclub in Bristol in September last year.
Since then, Stokes has been suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and was withdrawn from the Ashes squad.
Stokes, who will have to appear at Bristol Magistrates’ Court at a later date and could be jailed for up to three years.
Despite the serious predicament he finds himself in, the 26-year-old admitted thanked everyone for supporting him.
My statement on Bristol ⤵️…🏏 pic.twitter.com/xSStYeWPbJ
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) January 15, 2018
“I want to thank all those who have continued to support me in relation to the Bristol incident, not least my family, friends, fans and teammates,” he said in a statement posted on his Twitter account. “I gave a full and detailed account of my actions to the police on day one – the same day as the incident – and have cooperated at each step of the police inquiry.
“I am keen to have an opportunity to clear my name but, on advice, the appropriate time to do this is when the case comes to trial.
“The CPS’ decision to charge me, as well as Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, at least means that my account of what happened that night can come out in court and be made public. Until then, my focus is very much on cricket.”
With Stokes having been officially charged, the ECB will meet in the next 48 hours to discuss whether he will be permitted to play for England.
As of now, England are taking on Australia in a five-match ODI series. They will then face Australia and New Zealand in a T20 tri-series before travelling to New Zealand for five ODIs and two Tests.