England's All rounder and match winner in the first Test at Edgbaston – will not be present for the second Test due to his court hearing about the infamous brawl which happened late night outside a club in Bristol city back in September 2017.
Ben Stokes, Ryan Hale, and Rayan Ali – the people involved in the incident were in Bristol Crown Court on Thursday for their fourth day of their trial.
Hale gave a formal interview to the police on Thursday, which the jurors heard as well. “I’m a dad. He could have killed me. I don’t know why he didn’t stop. He could have beaten the living hell out of me. It’s shocking to see someone doing that to someone who didn’t do anything wrong.”
As the case unraveled in front of the jury, Hale said that he and his friend Ali were walking away for Mbargo nightclub, along with two of Stoke’s friends William O’ Connor and Kai Barry, who were two openly gay regulars at the club.
In a camera footage that was revealed to jury, Kai Barry was allegedly seen grabbing Ali’s groin shortly before the fight erupted.
“The first thing he did was put his hand on my knob. I’m an ex-soldier, to me it’s banter,” Hale said in a police interview.
“It did not offend me at all. He was pinching my arse and I grabbed him and said ‘You’re coming home with me’. He said ‘Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I’m going home with another bloke’.
“I was like, it’s fine, no problem, and just carried on walking.”
While, Stokes said that he had to intervene for William and Barry “because he was abusing my two friends for being gay,” the court documented.
Hale saw Stokes running towards him and Ali, and that’s when Stokes unleashed his wrath. “ I am telling him to stop. He is having a go at Ryan and I am trying to stop any fight, to stop him getting hurt. That’s the moment I get smashed to the face.
“I was the innocent bystander getting assaulted brutally for nothing, standing there with open fists being smacking around the place.”
Hales blamed Stokes that there was no “self defense” and wasn’t “defending anyone.”
Judge Peter Blair told the jury to find Hale not guilty, as the prosecution concluded its case.