Ben Stokes appears in crown court via video link from New Zealand

James Anderson vice-captain England New Zealand Test series cricket

James Anderson vice-captain England New Zealand Test series cricket

The trial date was set as Aug 6 and is expected to last between five and seven days.

Mr Stokes, Mr Hale and Mr Ali were detained early on 25 September following a disturbance in the Clifton Triangle area of the city - several hours after England had played a one-day worldwide against the West Indies.

England are due to play the first test match of a five-game series against India at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham between 1-5 August, with Mr Stokes's trial due to start a day later.

The powerful all-rounder, now with the England squad in New Zealand, looks set to miss the second Test against India at Lord's, with his trial set for August 6.

England's second test against India at Lord's starts on August 9.

Stokes had claimed to both the police and to the European Central Bank in their internal investigation that he was coming to the aid of two men who had been subjected to homophobic abuse prior to the incident.

Fellow England cricketer Alex Hales was also present.

Stokes and two other men pleaded not guilty to the charge during a 15-minute hearing at Bristol Crown Court, in the southwest of England.

Two other men also pleaded not guilty in Bristol in the early hours of September 25 after England played the West Indies in the city in southwest England.

Stokes appeared via a video link from New Zealand where he is on tour with England.

According to ESPNcricinfo, all three defendants were told they "must be here for your trial".

He was suspended from playing for England and returned to the team last month for the ODI series in New Zealand. The defendant can also be fined a unlimited amount. The judge ordered all three men to provide defence statements by May 22.

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