England cricketer Ben Stokes pleads not guilty to affray

England's Ben Stokes prepares to bowl during the fifth and final ODI cricket match between New Zealand and England

The date was set for Stokes's trial this morning during a hearing at Bristol Crown Court.

Stokes, 26, missed the Ashes series during the winter after being arrested while on a night out in Bristol last September.

The England all-rounder appeared at Bristol Crown Court on Monday via video link from New Zealand, where the global cricket team are now based for their ongoing series with the Black Caps.

According to ESPNcricinfo, all three defendants were told they "must be here for your trial".

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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 trial date has been set for 6 August and the three defendants were granted unconditional bail.

Stokes has only just returned to England duty after missing the Ashes and one-day series in Australia after an alleged incident outside a Bristol nightclub last summer.

Stokes this weekend helped England win a one day series against New Zealand.

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England declared him available once more after he indicated a plea of not guilty at Bristol Magistrates' Court in February.

Ben Stokes is all set to miss the Lord's Test against India later this year.

The powerful all-rounder, now with the England squad in New Zealand, looks set to miss the second Test against India at Lord's, with his trial set for August 6.

Upon being charged Stokes was immediately named in the team's for the visit to New Zealand prompting criticism from the media for the England Cricket Board's handling of the incident.

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In January the European Central Bank said that, "given the potential length of time to trial", it would not be "fair, reasonable or proportionate for Ben Stokes to remain unavailable for a further indeterminate period".

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