Stokes set to miss India clash at Lord's

The England all-rounder on Monday appeared in court via video link from New Zealand.

Stokes and two other men pleaded not guilty to the charge during a 15-minute hearing at Bristol Crown Court, in the southwest of England.

The 26-year-old Durham all-rounder is charged with affray after a man allegedly suffered a broken eye socket.

The 26-year-old appeared via video link from New Zealander to enter his plea alongside the two other defendants.

The Recorder of Bristol His Honour Judge Blair QC said the trial for Stokes, Ali and Hale will start on August 6 and will last between five and seven days. The second Test against India starts on August 9.

The judge told the three defendants: "You must be here without fail". "You will remain on bail as before".

England cricketer Ben Stokes has pleaded not guilty after being accused of fighting outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

He will, however, be able to play for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League in April and May.

He was suspended from playing for England and returned to the team last month for the ODI series in New Zealand.

The Bristol incident and the legal process that followed kept Stokes out of England's Ashes tour of Australia but he returned to the team last month for the one-day global series against New Zealand. They were also strongly advised to provide defence statements, setting out in detail their case, by May 22.

Stokes and Hales will also face an European Central Bank disciplinary hearing once the criminal proceedings have concluded.

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