Ben Stokes, amid legal battle, sends out emotional message for England

first_imgAbsent all-rounder Ben Stokes sent best wishes to his England team-mates, in particular debutant batsman Ollie Pope, ahead of the second Test against India at Lord’s on Thursday.Stokes is standing trial at Bristol Crown Court accused of knocking out two other men outside a nightclub in the southwest English city in September last year.Stokes on Thursday, wished his colleagues well in a Twitter message accompanied by an Instagram photograph of all-rounder Sam Curran, like Pope a 20-year-old Surrey star, celebrating a wicket.Ben Stokes ‘mocked gay men’ before Bristol pub brawl: Prosecutor”Good luck to all the englandcricket lads today and for the rest of the week, always exciting seeing guys get there first opportunity, hope it goes for you well for you @opope32 #loveengland” wrote Stokes.Good luck to all the englandcricket lads today and for the rest of the week,always exciting seeing guys get there first opportunity,hope it goes for you well for you @opope32 #loveengland https://t.co/7y4yb2sLneBen Stokes (@benstokes38) August 9, 2018Prosecutors say Stokes was the “main aggressor” in a fight that broke out after an England match. The 27-year-old however, has denied the charge against him.India vs England: Ollie Pope to debut in Lord’s Test, says Joe RootadvertisementBut in a statement provided to police and heard in court Wednesday, Stokes said he only stepped in after hearing two men being homophobic toward two other men.Stokes said “matters had become too serious to ignore and that I had to intervene.”Stokes himself is accused of earlier mocking the gay men outside the club and flicking a cigarette butt at them. Stokes denies taunting them, telling police they “thanked me for preventing them from being beaten up.”His absence will be a big blow for England in the second Test at Lord’s which is yet to begin due to relentless rain in London.Stokes is in good form with the ball after having taken 3 wickets in the first Test as the hosts completed a 31-run win at Edgbaston on Sunday to go 1-0 up in a five-match series.England captain Joe Root confirmed on Wednesday that 20-year-old Surrey batsman Pope would make his debut at Lord’s in place of the dropped Dawid Malan.(With agency inputs)last_img

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