The Ben Stokes episodes- Timeline of a trouble-maker

His brilliant numbers fail to cover up England’s brightest star in recent times who on occasions turned into a problem child.

Christchurch born England all-rounder Ben Stokes has hardly put a foot wrong recently. He has been the ‘go-to man’ for England and was seen as the trump card when it came to the question of defending the urn. But things took a drastic turn and Stokes has been defending himself of late. England cricket received a major blow after Stokes was detained overnight on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm after a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub, on 25th September.

2017 has been productive for Stokes when it comes to cricket. 7 Test matches, 527 runs at an average of 43.91 along with two player of the match awards. With the ball too, Stokes has scalped 16 wickets at a decent average. In ODIs, the all-rounder picked up 14 wickets and scored 616 runs at a staggering average of well over 61. But all these numbers fail to cover up England’s brightest star in recent times who on occasions turned into a problem child.

2012: Obstructing police during a night out

New to international cricket, 20-year-old Stokes found himself at the receiving end for obstructing the police during a night out in New Castle ahead of Christmas in the year 2012. The all-rounder had played just 5 ODIs and a couple of T20I game back then. The drinking-related incident threatened to end his career but his county club Durham handled the case. Stokes didn’t appear for the Three Lions in the 2012 season due to injury related problems.

2013: shamed and sent home

The dust had hardly settled down from the past incident, and Stokes along with his teammate Matt Coles were sent home from England Lions tour of Australia in ‘disgrace’ for persistent late-night binge drinking. The duo was warned on multiple occasions and was afterwards terminated from their service down under. Stokes scored a 15-ball 41 in one of the warm-up games.

“I would like to apologise for the way in which I acted. I am determined to bounce back and I regret my actions off the field. I look forward to getting back to my county to start pre-season preparations,” Stokes mentioned in his apology statement.

He headed back to Australia, the following summer, but this time with the national team for the Ashes. He made his red-ball cricket debut at the Adelaide Oval, scored his maiden Test hundred in Perth and scalped a 6-for in Sydney during England’s 5-0 whitewash of the Kangaroos.

2014: Punching the locker of the dressing room

Scores of 5, 4, 0, 4 and 0 ringed disaster for Ben Stokes, not just on the field but off it too. As Stokes failed to open his account in the final T20I match in Barbados against West Indies ahead of the World T20, the temperamental all-rounder vent his anger by punching a locker in the dressing room. What followed was a broken wrist and his exclusion from the World T20 event that year. “I am really disappointed to be missing out on going to a World T20 with England,” Stokes said. “It was a huge error in judgment following a frustrating tour for me and I deeply regret my behaviour. I would like to wish the team all the very best in Bangladesh.” Pacer Chris Woakes replaced Stokes later on.

2016: Over-speeding and possible jail time

England’s fastest double hundred maker in Test cricket was found guilty of over-speeding on four occasions in the year 2016. There were reports of him spending a considerable amount of time in jail if he drove faster than the speed limit again in the next 6 months.

2016-17-  Short temper and a long list of demerit points

Stokes had a serious altercation with Bangladeshi opener Tamim Iqbal in the 2nd ODI during England’s tour of Bangladesh last year. And he was handed one demerit point for going overboard during an on-field spat with Sabbir Rahman after England’s eventful loss to the Tigers in the 2nd Test match. Stokes didn’t help himself by picking up another demerit point after a verbal duel with Virat Kohli and made it three in no time after swearing while bowling during the Headingley Test match against West Indies.

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