ENGLAND cricketer Ben Stokes will join the England patrol in New Zealand tomorrow after pleading not guilty to battle after an purported fight outward a nightclub.
The 26-year-old Durham all-rounder – who missed the Ashes after being dangling from personification for England – denied the charges against him, with the England and Wales Cricket Board immediately permitting him to transport abroad to react the team.
Stokes now entered his counterclaim in front of a packaged courtroom at Bristol Magistrates’ Court, showing no emotion.
Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 26, also pleaded not guilty on the grounds of “self-defence and counterclaim of another”.
The fight allegedly unfolded in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol in the early hours of September 25 last year – several hours after England had played a one-day general against the West Indies in the city.
It is purported a 27-year-old man suffered a fractured eye hollow in the incident, at which associate England cricketer Alex Hales was also present.
Since his justice appearance, the ECB expelled a statement, saying: “Having entered his counterclaim at Bristol Magistrates Court today, Ben Stokes will now transport to New Zealand to join the England squad.
“He departs tomorrow, Wednesday 14 February, and will arrive on Friday 16 February, prepared to sight with England group friends in Hamilton.
“Any decision to embody him in arriving matches will be done by Head Coach Trevor Bayliss and the England government team. He is not now being deliberate for the ongoing International T20 Tri-Series.
“ECB entirely respects his right to urge himself in justice and any obligations he has within the authorised routine will always take dominance over England commitments.
“It has been reliable that he will not be compulsory to return to the UK for the first conference at Bristol Crown Court on Monday 12 March.”
In a matter posted on Twitter last month after he was charged, Stokes pronounced he was “keen to have an event to transparent my name”.
Avon and Somerset Police pronounced no movement has been taken against a 27-year-old man who formerly willingly attended a police hire for interview.
The charge of battle is done under the Public Order Act 1986 and effectively relates to fighting in public.
The defendants are now approaching to face hearing at the Crown Court in Bristol on Mar 12.
They were placed on umbrella bail.
While England were in Australia, Stokes played a few games for Canterbury Kings during a month-long spell in New Zealand before returning home to England.
Stokes could make his England return in the one-day series against New Zealand which starts on Feb 25 after being enclosed in a 15-man squad.
He is due to play in the Indian Premier League after being sole for £1.4 million to the Rajasthan Royals.