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Ben Stokes awaits likely disciplinary action after altercation with South African fan

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 25 January 2020, 13:58 IST
Ben Stokes

England all rounder Ben Stokes is waiting for probable disciplinary action having expressed regret for his foul mouthed reply to repeated abuse from the stands during the opening day of England’s fourth Test against South Africa.

Ben Stokes had just been caught for two when he became angry by comments coming from the crowd at Johannesburg’s Wanderers Stadium. It is believed that several swear words were pitched towards Stokes as well as reference to popstar and fellow redhead Ed Sheeran, but only his colourful retort was caught by the cameras.

The all rounder’s angry outburst was caught by host network SuperSport, leaving him vulnerable to a charge under the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) code of conduct.

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"I wish to apologise for my language that was heard on the live broadcast today after my dismissal. I should not have reacted in that way," he said in a statement on Friday.

"As I was leaving the playing area, I was subjected to repeated abuse from the crowd. I admit that my reaction was unprofessional, and I sincerely apologise for the language I used, especially to the many young fans watching the live telecast around the world.

"Throughout the Tests so far, the support from both sets of fans has been brilliant. One incident will not ruin such a competitive series, which we are determined to win."

Match umpire Andy Pycroft didn’t take action before the visiting team departed for the day, having already penalized Kagiso Rabada and Jos Buttler in the series.

Stokes’ comments to the crowd are surely enough to activate article 2.3 which covers "the use of words commonly known and understood to be offensive, obscene and/or profane and which can be heard by the spectators and/or the viewing public". Similar to Jos Buttler, Stokes could look for one demerit point and a deduction on his match fee.

For anything more detrimental Pycroft would have to be content that the incident was a lot more serious in nature. There is a clause under the code to penalize anything which would cause an individual to fear harmful or offensive contact, but as a level three infringement, that would sustain enough demerit points for a ban and would be open to appeal.

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First published: 25 January 2020, 13:58 IST