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Was Stokes in the wrong for fan spat?

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Last Updated: 24/01/20 7:23pm

2:42
The Cricket Debate panel discuss the reaction from Ben Stokes towards a spectator in South Africa.

The Cricket Debate panel discuss the reaction from Ben Stokes towards a spectator in South Africa.

Ben stokes could face action from the ICC after he swore at a spectator during England’s fourth Test against South Africa on Friday. 

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The England all-rounder was filmed using expletives in a reaction to a comment from the crowd, as he was departing the field following his dismissal for two shortly before England closed on 192-4.

Joining Charles Colvile for The Cricket Debate, former England captain Alec Stewart said he believed the abuse aimed at Stokes must have been personal for him to react in the manner he did.

Listen to the latest Cricket Debate in the player below or by downloading the podcast here.

“The regulations say you can’t use abusive language or misbehave on the field of play but, in his defence, we didn’t know what was said to him,” said Stewart.

“It has to have been something pretty inflammatory; he’s just played a poor shot and got out for two, but for Ben to react like that, I think the fella in the crowd will have said something strong.

“His father has been ill and hopefully his father is on the mend. If, and it is only an if, his father was mentioned, then I can understand why Ben reacted like that.

“It’s easy to say you’ve just got to swallow it, grin and bear it, walk up the tunnel but, if it’s about your family, good luck keeping those emotions in check.

“If it was just ‘that’s a rubbish shot, you’re not a very good cricketer’, then he should’ve just carried on.”

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Former England captain Michael Atherton says players must not react to abuse from spectators after Ben Stokes was involved in an incident in Johannesburg.

Former England captain Michael Atherton says players must not react to abuse from spectators after Ben Stokes was involved in an incident in Johannesburg.

Croft, adding to the debate, suggested that while the fire inside of Stokes makes him the player he is, it does also have a tendency to get him in trouble.

“He is an emotional person, there’s no doubt about it,” added Croft. “Part of these genius players is that they’re often on the edge. We’ve seen that in his cricket, he wears his heart on his sleeve and often it spills over.

“He probably isn’t very happy with the shot he played, and to be criticised or for something to be said at that moment, he’s erupted.

“I’m sure he’s back at the hotel, thinking ‘I could’ve handled that a little bit differently.”

5:04
Watch highlights from day one of the fourth Test between South Africa and England in Johannesburg.

Watch highlights from day one of the fourth Test between South Africa and England in Johannesburg.

Also discussed on the latest Cricket Debate…
– England’s first first-innings 100-run opening stand since 2009.
– Is Zak Crawley’ success putting pressure on Joe Denly?
– Vernon Philander’s waning impact on the series.
– Were England right to pick five seamers for the Test?

Watch day two of the fourth Test between South Africa and England live on Sky Sports Cricket from 7.30am on Saturday.

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