Cricket

England star All-Rounder likely to miss The Ashes

Video footage of the infamous brawl involving star all-rounder, Ben Stokes, has emerged and has been obtained by The Sun. The incident occurred outside a nightclub at 2:35 AM on 25th September in Bristol. Stokes was later arrested and held overnight on the suspicion of causing bodily harm while intoxicated. He was subsequently released and not charged with any crime. The English All-Rounder also suffered a minor fracture in his right hand during the brawl.

The link to the video is given below:

Ben Stokes will not fly to Australia with the team

The England and Wales Cricket Board are waiting on the outcome of the ongoing police investigation into the matter. They are yet to take a decision on the star Cricketer’s future.

Even though the ECB has retained stokes in the squad, he is not going to fly Down Under with the rest of his team. His involvement in the Ashes is subject to the outcome of the Cricket Discipline Commission hearing. If charges are levied against Stokes, it may be the end of his Ashes dream.

“We have spoken to Ben and assured him that our decision in no way prejudges the outcome of the ongoing Police investigation or Cricket Discipline Commission process, as can be seen by the award of Central Contracts,” said Andrew Strauss, director of England Cricket.

Steven Finn has been named as his replacement temporarily. Steven Finn is coming off an impressive showing in his last County match with figures of 8-79  against Lancashire at Lord’s.

England Team Director, Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss said,”With the Ashes just around the corner, it’s important to give the players, the coaching staff, and supporters some clarity around a complex situation”. He also underlined the need for mental preparation and added, “This decision will help us in the weeks ahead and give every player and the whole England set-up the best chance to focus on the challenge ahead in Australia.”

“Steven [Finn] is a high-quality cricketer, with considerable experience of both international cricket and Australian conditions. The selectors believe he will add to the range of options and the squad will be further supported by the arrival of the Lions in Australia in November,” he added.

Michael Vaughan warns Stokes about his lifestyle:

Ex-Cricketer, Vaughan feels that it is about time the England Vice-captain changes his lifestyle. He also added that there are other ways to blow off steam and that being so famous, he cannot afford to be inebriated in a nightclub at 2 AM in the morning.

 

Vaughan wrote in his Daily Telegraph column, “Ben Stokes can’t say he was not warned. I have been privy to private conversations about him recently and he has been given strong warnings about his lifestyle. People have said to him there is only one person who can ruin your career and that is you. Nobody else.”

Echoing their sentiment, Vaughan added “He needs a way to let off steam and live a life. But on the field, he is a streetwise cricketer. He understands the game. He gets cricket. But he is not streetwise off the pitch and that could be his downfall. I am hoping this is his lesson.”He also added in an interview to Cricbuzz that he would not give England much of a chance to win the Ashes if the Vice-Captain is suspended.

Graeme Swann tweets in support of Ben Stokes:

After viewing the video, ex-England spinner praised Ben Stokes for the brawl and for giving the man what he deserved. He was soon made to retract his statements and condoned any kind of violence.

After receiving considerable outrage for his comments on Twitter, the English spinner clarified his views. He was one of the very few people to come out in support of Ben Stokes, however briefly, since the incident.

Author’s Take

Although the English Board may be tempted to let Stokes off with just a warning, the protocol must be followed and no matter how important the player, he must be held accountable for his actions. This may hinder the prospects of England’s dream to regain Ashes but that should not stand in the way of justice. If this impacts Ben Stokes’ career negatively, it will be a huge loss to the cricket fans across the globe. After all, he did miss the 2015 World Cup because he was frustrated and punched a locker, only to injure his hand. Stokes must take this as a wake-up call and ensure such an incident never occurs again.

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