England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes apologised for using inappropriate language in a controversial exchange of words with a spectator on his way back to the dressing room on Friday during third Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg.
The incident happened in the last session of the rain-affected day one’s play. Stokes edged fast bowler Anrich Nortje’s delivery to slip fielder Rassie van der Dussen. The spectator abused the English all-rounder as he was leaving the field after losing his wicket for just two runs from 10 deliveries.
The 28-year-old took to Twitter to apologise for his behaviour in heat of the moment.
“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,” said Stokes.
“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.
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) January 24, 2020
“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,” he added.
In the aftermath of the incident, Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket Ashley Giles alleged abuse to England support staff and requested for an increase in security.
“In addition to this incident, members of our support staff were subjected to personal abuse during and after the day’s play,” Giles said.
“We have requested to the venue to ensure that security and stewarding are enhanced for the remainder of the match so that players and staff members can go about their duties without provocation,” he added.
Earlier, England skipper Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat first. At the end of day’s play, England had scored 192 for four wickets in 52.4 overs. Zak Crawley top-scored with a 66-run knock. Root and Ollie Pope walked back unbeaten with scores of 25 and 22 respectively.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines