Ben Stokes’ life takes another turn for the worse, as the Bristol Magistrates’ Court’s judgement has all but ruled him out of this year’s IPL.
Stokes has been charged of ‘affray’ by the Crown Prosecution Service for the nightclub brawl that took place outside the Bristol Night club back in September of last year.
The burly all-rounder is widely considered as one of the premier players in world cricket right now, as Stokes has quickly become the standard bearer for all-rounders all over the world.
Stokes was the most expensive player in last year’s auction, as he was bought for a whooping Rs 14.5 crores by Rising Pune Super Giants.
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The Englishman lived up to his price tag, as he played a crucial role in Pune’s road to the final. He eventually bagged the Most Valuable Player award, as Stokes well and truly lived up to his billing.
Heading into this year’s IPL, Ben Stokes was expected to spark a huge bidding war, as a player of Stokes’ abilities would provide immense value and balance to the side.
But this judgement has shaken everything up, as no one is sure of the Englishman’s participation in the tournament any more.
This is what the Crown Prosecution Service said,
“The CPS was passed a file of evidence by Avon and Somerset Police on 29 November in relation to an incident of disorder in Bristol city centre.
“Further material was subsequently received in late December. Following a review of all the available evidence, the CPS has today authorised the police to charge three men with affray in connection with the incident.
“Ben Stokes, 26, Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 26, are all due to appear before Bristol Magistrates’ Court on a date to be fixed in relation to this charge.”
Stokes released a statement soon after the judgement was made public.
“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,” Stokes said.
“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.”
The franchise owners are also in limbo right now, as they want some clarity on the situation.
“We need a level of certainty in case he is not available after he is bought at the auction,” an owner of a franchise told ESPNcricinfo. “We need to know the degree of control IPL will have on his availability. We will seek to understand what happens now: what is the process? What will happen if there is one eventuality or another?” he added.
The IPL will soon give after an answer though, as they will try and clarify things before the auction that is set to take place within the fortnight.
Guess we will have to wait and see this unfold!