Ben Stokes has gone from one of cricket’s greatest all-rounders to the most unpopular sportsman in England. One-night of punches, mocking Harvey Price and who knows what else has landed the 26-year-old in deep water as he looks to rebuild a reputation that has been shattered; Marlon Samuels must think Christmas has come early.
The final nail in Stokes’ coffin has been planted with the English and Welsh Cricket Board confirming that Stokes will not travel to Australia for the Ashes, as he is set to be banned by England for the whole winter; the punishment could stretch to Stokes also missing the One Day Internationals against Australia and New Zealand – Steve Finn has been added to the squad as a replacement.
— Betfred (@Betfred) October 6, 2017
“We have spoken to Ben and assured him that our decision in no way prejudges the outcome of the ongoing police investigation or cricket discipline commission process,”
— Andrew Strauss
Stokes’ omission from the England team could also see the ECB refuse to grant the all-rounder a no-objection certificate to play in the IPL with Rising Pune Supergiant, meaning the cricketer’s efforts to do his best Anthony Johsua impression could cost him up to two-million pounds as contractual issues will be thrown into jeopardy.
On top of this, the Englishman is in danger of losing his sponsors from New Balance and Red Bull as the brands are reportedly set to terminate their deals with Stokes; another £200,000 down the drain.
Greene King have already pulled an advert from the telly which features Stokes drinking; probably a good idea:
“Given the police investigation, we’ve decided to stop broadcasting the IPA cricket advert, which was filmed last year and features a number of cricket players.”
— Green King statement
The behaviour of Stokes adds further question marks over the English cricket culture, and it could be one long winter Down Under with English cricket missing their most influential player.