Ben Stokes appears set to miss this summer’s showpiece Lord’s Test against India because of a clash with the date set for his trial for affray.
At a Bristol Crown Court hearing on Monday morning, Judge Peter Blair QC set a date of August 6 for the trial – which is expected to last between five and seven days.
The second Test of the high-profile India series at Lord’s will begin on August 9.
Stokes, England’s match-winning all-rounder, has already missed this winter’s 4-0 Ashes defeat in Australia while waiting to discover if he would be charged – but is currently back with the team during their tour of his native New Zealand.
From there, he appeared in court via video link.
Stokes and two other men pleaded not guilty to the charge during a 15-minute hearing.
Stokes, 26, wearing a grey shirt, said “Hi judge” when he was introduced to Judge Blair via the video link.
He confirmed his name, date of birth and nationality and said “Thank you” when the hearing concluded.
The two other defendants, Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 26, appeared in person at the court.
Judge Blair told all three defendants: “You must be here without fail for that trial.
“You will remain on bail as before.”
The judge ordered the defendants to provide defence statements by May 22.
Stokes, Ali and Hale are jointly charged with affray in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol on September 25 last year – several hours after England had played a one-day international against the West Indies.
A 27-year-old man allegedly suffered a fractured eye socket in the incident, at which Stokes’ England team-mate Alex Hales was also present.