England all-rounder Ben Stokes has issued an apology for his abusive clash with a fan on Day 1 of the fourth and final Test between South Africa and England at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Stokes got involved in a heated exchange with a spectator on his way back to the dressing room when he was dismissed by South African speedster Anrich Nortje for 2 runs in the 45th over of England’s first innings.
While going back to the pavilion, the England vice-captain was caught on camera, telling a fan: “Come say that to me outside the ground, you f****** four-eyed c***” after he was compared with British singer Ed Sheeran.
Stokes took to Twitter to express regret for his foul-mouthed behavior. He posted an image of his apology statement.
“I wish to apologize for my language that was heard on the live broadcast today after my dismissal. I should not have reacted in that way.”
“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 apologize for the language I used, especially to the many young fans watching the live telecast around the world.”
“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.”
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) January 24, 2020
Managing Director of England cricket team and former spinner Ashley Giles even claimed that after the incident, the English team’s officials were subjected to abuse by the fans, therefore, he asked security for the remainder of the match.
“In addition to this incident, members of our support staff were subjected to personal abuse during and after the day’s play. 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.”
At stumps on Day 1, England were 192 for four with Joe Root (25), and Ollie Pope (22) at the crease. Vernon Philander, Beuran Hendricks, Anrich Nortje, and Dane Paterson picked up one wicket each for the Proteas.