Ben Stokes
Stokes will now appear before Bristol Magistrates Court.

England cricketer Ben Stokes has been charged with affray over an incident outside a Bristol nightclub that left a man with a fractured eye socket.

Stokes, who missed the Ashes series as a result of the incident, has been charged along with two other men after the disturbance which took place in September 2017.

The ECB [England and Wales Cricket Board] are expected to make a further announcement on the 26-year-old's future involvement in English cricket in the next 48 hours.

Stokes will appear before Bristol Magistrates' Court at a later date.

A statement from Avon and Somerset Police read: "Three men have today been charged in connection with an incident of disorder on Queens Road, Bristol on 25 September last year.

"A thorough investigation was carried out into the incident by Avon and Somerset Police before a comprehensive file on evidence was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service on 29 November.

"Having carefully considered the evidence, the CPS has today authorised Ben Stokes, 26, of Durham, Ryan Ali, 28 and Ryan Hale, 26, both of Bristol, to each be charged with one count of affray.

"They will appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court at a date to be confirmed."

The Durham all-rounder was suspended indefinitely by England pending an internal disciplinary procedure that was referred to the Cricket Discipline Commission.

Stokes has been included in the one-day squad for the upcoming five-match series against Australia which begins on 14 January, in addition to the England Test squad set to tour New Zealand in March.

His involvement in those series' was always set to be subject to legal and disciplinary developments, however, with today's (15 January) announcement from the CPS now set to trigger a meeting of the ECB board within the next 48 hours to decide whether to can represent his country before his court appearance.

A short statement from English cricket's governing body read: "ECB is aware that Ben Stokes has been charged with affray in relation to an incident in Bristol in September.

"The Board will now convene within 48 hours to decide on Ben Stokes' availability to represent England at this stage.

"A further announcement will be made in due course."

In his own statement, Stokes insists his focus will be solely be on cricket but is eager for the details of what "what really happened" to emerge in court.

"I want to thank all those who have continued to support me in relation to the Bristol incident, not least my family, friends, fans and teammates. I gave a full and detailed account of my actions to the police on day one – the same as the incident – and have cooperated at each step of the police inquiry.

"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. 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."