England cricketer Ben Stokes has been included in the national team squad on Tuesday, after being cleared of affray charges by a jury at Crown Court following his involvement in a brawl between a group of men last September.
After helping England to a thrilling victory in the first Test, the hearing forced Stokes to miss the second Test against at Lord's. However, his inclusion in the squad comes a day after England announced their unchanged 13-man squad for the upcoming Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
Stokes, who was accused of knocking unconscious two men, Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, outside a nightclub in Bristol, southwest England, last September, claimed to have lost control after drinking heavily earlier in the night.
The jury was told that Stokes had been in the nightclub earlier in the evening and had tried to return even after it had stopped allowing entry. Footage from a nearby CCTV and from a witness's mobile phone showed the cricketer throwing a number of punches during the incident.
Stokes denied the charge in his testimony, and claimed to have been acting in self-defence after stepping in to defend the gay couple who had been on the receiving end of the alleged homophobic abuse.
The England national have now announced a 14-man squad for the third Test, which welcomes the inclusion of recently acquitted Ben Stokes. Chris Woakes kept his place after being adjudged the man-of-the-match on his return from injury.
Opener Keaton Jennings retained his place given his poor run of form. While, Ollie Pope, who scored 28 runs on his international debut at Lord's will get another chance to leave his mark.
Meanwhile, all-rounder Moeen Ali and uncapped pacer Jamie Porter, who failed to nail a spot in the playing eleven at Lord's, have been retained in the squad.
The hosts are currently 2-0 head and India will need to avoid a loss in the third game to stay alive in the five-match series. The third test match will commence from August 18 in Nottingham.
England squad for third Test:
Joe Root (capt), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Jamie Porter, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes.
(With AFP Inputs)