England cricketer Ben Stokes marries

Ben Stokes and Clare Ratcliffe Image copyright PA
Image caption The couple have been engaged since 2013

England cricketer Ben Stokes has married Clare Ratcliffe at a ceremony in East Brent, near Weston-super-Mare.

International team-mates Joe Root, Stuart Broad and Alastair Cook were among the guests at the church service.

Stokes, 26, was arrested last month on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm following an incident outside a nightclub in Bristol.

Earlier this week, his agent said the all-rounder would publicly explain what happened "when the time is right".

Stokes was arrested on 26 September, hours after England's win over the West Indies in their third one-day international, following claims of an early-hours brawl. He was released without charge but remains under investigation.

The Durham star's right hand was clearly bandaged as he arrived for the wedding ceremony, though the bandages appeared to have been removed for the official photographs afterwards.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Stokes's bandaged right hand was apparent in photos taken before the ceremony
Image copyright PA
Image caption The groom and his ushers
Image copyright PA
Image caption Clare Ratcliffe is Stokes's long-term girlfriend and mother of their two children
Image copyright PA
Image caption England cricketers Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad were among Stokes' team-mates at the ceremony

The newly-weds, who have two children, posed for photographs outside the church before going on to a reception at a nearby hotel.

Wicket-keeper Jos Buttler and Durham colleague Paul Collingwood joined the friends and family at the Somerset church, alongside England teammates Eoin Morgan, Graham Onions and Sam Billings.

Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA
Image caption Current England Test captain Joe Root also attended the Somerset ceremony
Image copyright PA
Image caption Fellow cricketers Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan and Sam Billings joined the celebrations

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said that Stokes will not travel to Australia on 28 October with the rest of the Ashes squad "at this stage", but has not ruled out his selection for the series.

Stokes's agent, Neil Fairbrother, said the cricketer would discuss his version of events in due course, but did not wish to prejudice the investigation.

Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA
Image caption The 40-minute service was held in the church of St Mary the Virgin in East Brent

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