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South Africa v England

Ben Stokes launches verbal volley at spectator after dismissal

by Wisden Staff 1 minute read

Sky Sports apologised to viewers after Ben Stokes was caught on camera saying an obscenity on day one in the direction of a spectator of The Wanderers Test between South Africa and England.

Upon leaving the field of play after being dismissed for 2 by Anrich Nortje, England batsman Stokes was shown by the television cameras to have launched a verbal volley in the direction of the crowd as he approached the Bullring’s iconic tunnel that leads to the players’ dressing rooms.

While it was not picked up what was said to Stokes, ESPNcricinfo reported that the spectator in question is understood to be middle-aged and compared his looks to the singer, Ed Sheeran. Stokes then responded by saying, “come and say that to me outside the ground you f***ing four-eyed c***,” with the outburst shown on TV.

Sky subsequently cut into the feed of the broadcaster SuperSport, with presenter Nick Knight apologising to viewers.

“Apologies for any foul language you may have heard from the Ben Stokes dismissal a few moments or so ago,” Knight said.

This isn’t the first time an England players has been caught engaging in a foul-mouthed tirade this series. Jos Buttler was fined 15 per cent of his match fee after he was heard on the stump microphone calling Vernon Philander a “f***ing knobhead” on the final day of the second Test at Newlands.

Stokes could well be in line for a similar punishment, if the ICC charge him with use of an audible obscenity.

If they find him guilty of threatening to assault a spectator under article 2.17 of the ICC code of conduct, he will receive at least a level three sanction, which would carry a suspension.

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