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England cricketer Ben Stokes arrives at Bristol Crown CourtImage copyright

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Ben Stokes’ defence barrister told the jury he had acted “to defend himself or in defence of another”

The jury has retired to consider its verdicts in the trial of England cricketer Ben Stokes who is accused of knocking two men unconscious outside a nightclub.

Mr Stokes, 27, and Ryan Ali, 28, have denied affray at Bristol Crown Court.

Mr Stokes said he was acting in self-defence when he punched Mr Ali and Ryan Hale, 27, during the fracas in Bristol last year.

But Mr Ali argued the cricketer needed restraining to protect Mr Hale.

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Both Mr Stokes and Ryan Ali have denied affray

The fight took place several hours after England had played a one-day international against West Indies at the city’s County Ground.

During the six-day trial, the jury heard the Durham all-rounder was “drunk and enraged” after being refused entry back into Mbargo nightclub at 02:00 BST on 25 September.

His defence barrister said this was “complete nonsense”

Prosecutor Nicholas Corsellis told the court Mr Stokes had acted “to defend himself or in defence of another” when Mr Ali had a bottle in his hand, but then “quickly turned aggressor”.

Mr Ali’s defence barrister Anna Midgley said there had been no evidence to show her client had suddenly lost it “from a calm gentleman to a total personality change”.

Mr Stokes, of Castle Eden, Durham, was arrested in the early hours along with emergency services worker Mr Ali, of Bristol, and Mr Hale, of Westbury-on-Trym, who was acquitted of the same charge last Thursday.

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