Ben Stokes has issues an apology for his unprofessional behaviour at the Bullring against a spectator in the crowd. After he was dismissed, Stokes was on the way back to the pavilion when he says the spectator threw abuse at him. In response, the Supersport cameramen sopped up Stokes’ response which appeared to be : “Come say that to me outside the ground, you f***ing four-eyed c***.”
Despite the apology, the England vice-captain could face sanction from the ICC. The spectator is believed to have compared the all-rounder to singer Ed Sheeran.
His words were not shown live on television but shortly after his dismissal, the broadcasters showed it multiple times on television.
“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,” Stokes said in a statement after the close of play. “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 (England and South Africa) has been brilliant. One incident will not ruin such a competitive series, which we are determined to win.”
Abuse on the field usually comes under a level one offence which will only add to Stokes’ demerit points. Luckily he has none, so if he is charged with level one, it is only going to be an official warning.
It is also possible that his actions will come under ‘conduct that brings the game into disrepute’. This could leave him open to a level four offence, which are the most serious.