England all-rounder Ben Stokes pleaded not guilty to affray at Bristol Magistrates’ Court after he was charged due to an incident outside a nightclub back in September 2017.

The 26-year-old claims that he acted in self defence and has been released on bail. His trial will now take place at Bristol Crown Court on March 12th.

Matt Cardy/Getty Images News

During the hearing, District Judge Simon Cooper said:

From what I have seen, heard and read this was an indecent of sustained violence in area of the night time economy of Bristol. All had been drinking, weapons were involved at start of the incident. Significant injury was caused to one of the people. The mater does fall within the top level of my sentencing guidelines. On pleas of not guilty, I am satisfied that the likely sentence for at least one of these alleged participants is well in excess of this court’s sentencing powers for a charge of affray. This case will be tried in the Crown Court. I note that there is considerable national interest in the matter.