Australia v England, 5th ODI, Adelaide

'I'm up for the fight' - Stokes

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 25, 2014

Comments: 21 | Text size: A | A

Ben Stokes drives through the off side, Australia v England, 4th ODI, Perth, January 24, 2014
Ben Stokes impressed with bat and ball at the WACA, not for the first time on the tour © Getty Images
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Ben Stokes believes he revels in a confrontational atmosphere after being at the centre of a heated exchange with James Faulkner at the WACA although the incident has cost him 15% of his match fee.*

Stokes, who has been one of the few encouraging performers during an awful tour, played a key all-round role as England finally secured a victory on the trip, scoring 70 at No. 3 then claiming 4 for 38 to leave Australia well short.

It was his third wicket that sealed the contest for England when he had Faulkner caught behind, and after Faulkner's spectacular matchwinning effort in Brisbane there was understandable relief from the England players and none more so than Stokes who had suffered at the Gabba.

He shouted in the direction of Faulkner as he walked off and the umpires stepped in to calm the situation. On Saturday evening the ICC confirmed he had been sanctioned for a breach of the code of conduct.

Andy Pycroft, the ICC match referee, said: "Mr Stokes' reaction was a clear breach of the code, as players are expected to respect their opponents at all times, no matter what the match situation is. This is a cornerstone of how we play the game."

Stokes admitted the charge, but earlier insisted he would not be changing the way he plays. "It was nothing worse than I've been getting all one-day series,'' he said. "I'm always competitive and I'm always up for the fight. I always want to be involved. I want to try and influence the result for whatever team I'm playing for.''

Despite his treatment by Faulkner in Brisbane, when Stokes bowled the penultimate over of the match and was taken for two sixes, he had no second thoughts about operating towards the end of the innings again and actually insisted to Alastair Cook that he wanted the job.

"I think he knows that I want to that,'' he said. "We chatted about it and I said: 'Yeah, I want to bowl at the end'. I've done that role for Durham in the one-day stuff over the last few years. It's not like I'm not used to it.

"This time I've got wickets, last time I did that it didn't go so well. It can go one way or the other. I really wanted to change the way that went and made sure we got over the line."

*0200GMT, January 26: This story was updated with news of Stokes' ICC fine

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 0:52 GMT)

Umpires are so inconsistent. Stokes and Broad have identical send offs in the Test series with no repercussions, though I'm glad they've acted on this one. Send offs are a low act befitting of English players. Australia have taken many more wickets this summer and apart from a Johnson stare down which is harmless, all the send offs have been from 1-9 England.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 26, 2014, 7:17 GMT)

After such a wretched tour for England, it's understandable that England's emotions are running high when a win was within their grasp. That still doesn't excuse Stokes outburst though. I don't think that the players on either side have really had too much to say off the field about what's been said on the field. The England players never really said anything about Australia's sledging, other than what Warner said off the field about Trott, and I doubt that the Australian players have much to say about this. Australia have been sledging England all summer long but England have had plenty to say themselves when they've been on top in the past. I think that one or two incidents have gone a bit too far and this appears to be one of them. All the complaining is being done by the fans though. It would be nice if we could show the grace that most of the players have most of the time.

Posted by nrlman on (January 26, 2014, 7:08 GMT)

Perhaps if the Umpires / Match Referees had taken action against Broad & Anderson from day 1 of the 1st Test, this decision wouldn't have looked so bad. It needed to be acted on from the beginning of the tour not after 5 tests & 4 ODIs. They need to be consistent for all players from both teams.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on (January 26, 2014, 6:36 GMT)

@Rednwhitearmy, might be advisable to read the article before commenting. I say fair play to Stokes, England need some grit and a bit of mongrel about them and like a true Kiwi he punches above his weight. Good for him and good find for England. I've no problem with players standing up to the opposition. He also looks a very good player but let's see if he can keep it up before throwing him into comparisons with Hadlee.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (January 26, 2014, 6:36 GMT)

Clarke was cited because he was clearly heard on television, bad luck Clarke. Stokes wasnt heard by the viewers, so why did he get treated like he had been?

Posted by AidanFX on (January 26, 2014, 6:33 GMT)

Sending guys off - is like kicking a dog that's down. The wicket should be reward for itself. So the punishment is fair. I don't think Stokes is a bad boy though. I recall the test series where he started to hit out and Harris bowled him and he gave a little nod of the head. So yeah, Stokes is the fair competitive type I reckon.

Posted by __PK on (January 26, 2014, 6:23 GMT)

This was nothing like the verbal the Australians have been giving England all series. This was a cowardly attack after the batsman was dismissed and had no opportunity to respond with bat or verbally. Very Virat Kohli of Stokes.

Posted by disco_bob on (January 26, 2014, 3:38 GMT)

@RednWhiteArmy, how is it Australia's fault if the match referee makes a decision?

Posted by Back-Foot-Cringe on (January 26, 2014, 3:16 GMT)

@RednWhiteArmy - silly comment. Aus didn't accuse him of trash talking. "[Stokes] shouted in the direction of Faulkner as he walked off and the umpires stepped in to calm the situation. On Saturday evening the ICC confirmed he had been sanctioned for a breach of the code of conduct."

Stop being so one-eyed. The umps themselves witnessed a breach of the rules & called Stokes on it.

Stokes looks like the real deal as a player - world class all-rounder. Huge find for the Poms. Great Man of the Match effort.

Posted by   on (January 26, 2014, 3:07 GMT)

Ben Stokes is a great prospect for the future. But the best, hardest, classiest players don't sledge. They don't need to.

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