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England's Stokes in foul-mouthed altercation with spectator

Reuters/Johannesburg
Filed on January 24, 2020 | Last updated on January 24, 2020 at 10.28 pm
England's Ben Stokes during the fourth Test

(Reuters)

Stokes was shown on television exchanging insults with a middle aged man

England all-rounder Ben Stokes could face disciplinary action after a foul-mouthed row with a spectator after his dismissal in Friday's test against South Africa at The Wanderers.
Stokes was shown on television exchanging insults with a middle aged man as he walked off the field after being caught cheaply for two runs in England's first innings on the opening day of the fourth test at the Johannesburg venue, known as 'the bullring' for its often hostile atmosphere.
The 28-year-old Stokes now faces being charged by the International Cricket Council with a level one offence of "use of an audible obscenity" and a possible fine and demerit point if the match referee decides to charge him.
There was no immediate confirmation of any charge after England reached 192 for four when bad light stopped play.
Stokes is the latest in a long list of players to have spats with spectators at The Wanderers, where there is a long walk from the dressing rooms to the pitch, alongside a grassy bank often filled with boozy spectators.
A plastic casing was built for the walkway after Australia tailender Merv Hughes swung his bat in anger at a spectator who insulted him in 1994.
Previously it was fenced off, allowing spectators to abutt the walkway and insult players close-up as they walked past.
Television pictures did not show Stokes being insulted but did show him swearing in response to obvious provocation.
Stokes, who has tormented the South Africans with bat and ball on this tour and proved pivotal in England taking a 2-1 series lead, missed the Ashes in 2017 after sustaining a hand injury in a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub which led to him being charged with affray.
He was acquitted after a high profile trial but charged with bringing the game into disrepute by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and fined 30,000 pounds ($39,432.00) and banned for eight matches.



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