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January 25, 2014
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
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