England cricketer Ben Stokes was reportedly defending two men from a homophobic attack in the incident that led to his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm outside a Bristol night club last month.
Stokes was suspended from the England squad and still looks set to miss the 2017-18 Ashes after he was arrested in connection with the incident after video was published depicting him in a street fight.
However, Kai Barry and Billy O’Connell have told The Sun Stokes was defending them from a homophobic attack when the furore erupted, details that could affect whether he joins the rest of the squad in Australia.
Barry and O’Connell—both of whom are gay—met Stokes and fellow cricketer Alex Hales in Mbargo night club in Bristol but were later subjected to homophobic abuse. O’Connell said: “We were so grateful to Ben for stepping in to help. He was a real hero. Kai feared he could be attacked. If Ben hadn’t intervened it could have been a lot worse for us.”
Image courtesy of The Times.
2017-18 Ashes Series Winner Odds
Australia: 4/9 (1.44)
Draw: 7/1 (8.00)
England: 3/1 (4.00)