Ben Stokes debate rages on ahead of Trent Bridge Test

first_imgBen Stokes might have been cleared of affray and has been recalled to the England squad for the third Test against India at Trent Bridge, starting on August 18 but his actions have not gone down well with former English cricketers.Stokes, who was charged of affray for his involvement in a pub brawl in Bristol on September 24, was cleared of wrongdoing on Tuesday by the Bristol Crown Court. Stokes, who was initially left out of the England squad for the third Test, was immediately added to the 13-man squad for the Trent Bridge Test, the moment his name was cleared.However, after Stokes’s clearance, former English cricketers are of divided opinions regarding him receiving further punishment. Stokes, 27, still faces an internal disciplinary enquiry by the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) following his acquittal by unanimous decision of a jury on Tuesday.Former Derbyshire batsman and qualified solicitor Tim O’Gorman is heading the investigation.Stokes’s team-mate Alex Hales — who was with him during the late night brawl outside a club in Bristol, southwest England, last September but was not charged — will also face the enquiry.But, some believe that whatever has happened is enough and he should be let off while some are of the opposite opinion. Former England captains Mike Atherton and Michael Vaughan believe Stokes has had his share of punishment while Nasser Hussain and former England spinner Vic Marks believe that Stokes should keep a check on himself and not bring the game to disrepute.However, Vaughan, Atherton and Hussain all agree that his behaviour was not right and also to the fact that he should play instantly if he is available.advertisementAlso read – Ben Stokes cleared of affray charges, to join squad for 3rd Test vs IndiaStokes’s teammate Jonny Bairstow also welcomed him back and said that he is extremely important to the England team.Here’s what the English cricketers have to say about Stokes:’BEN STOKES HAS BEEN PUNISHED ENOUGH’I think the fact he missed the whole of the Winter in Australia is punishment enough for Ben Stokes. I personally think now he has been proven to be not guilty, he should be allowed to play: Michael Vaughan’HOPE TO SEE STOKES BACK IN ENGLAND SHIRT SOON’I’m really happy that the verdict has come out as it has for English cricket. It’s big for him. It’s been a long 10 months for him, for his family. I’m delighted and hopefully we can see him back in an England shirt very, very soon because we saw the impact that he had at Edgbaston only a couple of weeks ago in the first Test: Jonny Bairstow’STOKES HAS SERVED HIS PUNISHMENT BUT MORE COULD BE DUE’With a not-guilty verdict, the way forward seems, to me, to be clear enough and should not involve further punishment. There are clauses in an England cricketer’s contract — such as bringing the game into disrepute — that could yet result in punishment. Although Stokes was never formally suspended from the England team, his non-selection for the Ashes came about clearly as a result of the events in Bristol: Mike AthertonAlso read – Ben Stokes accused of lying to jury during Bristol pub-brawl trial’STOKES’S CCTV FOOTAGE SHOULDN’T BE TAKEN LIGHTLY’He missed the most high-profile series in which an England cricketer can play, essentially a six-month ban. Hussain, capped 96 times and captained England 45 times till stepping down from the post in 2003, argued differently saying the images caught on CCTV cannot just be ignored and the governing body the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have to act.Some people would argue that Ben Stokes has had it tough, and has served his time in missing the Ashes, but I see it differently. The ECB should not now take the easy option. It is far too serious an issue, and the footage far too serious, for people to think about moving on and brushing things under the carpet: Nasser Hussain told The Daily Mail.As far as selection goes, Ben is one of the best XI cricketers in the country and has been found innocent in a court of law, although, obviously, (coach) Trevor Bayliss and (captain) Joe Root have to look at Ben mentally.Importantly, I think Stokes needs to have a long, hard look at himself – it’s a couple of times now he has been in the press for the wrong reasons: Hussain told Sky Sports News.’STOKES BROUGHT DISREPUTE TO ENGLISH CRICKET’The very best cricketers often ooze invincibility; they are never out and never wrong. They feel invulnerable, capable of dominating any situation. I have witnessed this at close quarters when playing alongside Ian Botham.advertisementIn Botham’s era the backroom staff were not so sophisticated. He once had an agent, Tim Hudson, whose response to an allegation about Ian smoking cannabis was famously, “Doesn’t everyone?” Marks suggests Stokes take former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting as a role model in moving forward.Ponting had his moments of madness in bars as a young Australian cricketer and was dropped in 1999 after an incident in Sydney which left him unconscious in the early hours of the morning,” writes Marks.He was not required to go to court but he acknowledged a problem with alcohol and his off-field behaviour, and with appropriate help he resolved it before going on to have the most brilliant of careers: Vic Markslast_img read more