Ben Stokes: England star fined for swearing at fan during fourth South Africa Test but escapes suspension

Will Macpherson
Sky Sports
Sky Sports

Ben Stokes has escaped a ban for swearing at a fan on the opening day of England's fourth Test against South Africa in Johannesburg but did receive a fine and a demerit point from the ICC.

After Stokes was dismissed for two on the first day, he was caught by broadcasters saying “come and say that to me outside the ground you f****** four-eyed c***” after being provoked by a spectator near the tunnel.

He issued an apology in the evening.

Stokes accepted the Level 1 charge for an “audible obscenity” (Article 2.3) at a meeting with the Zimbabwean match referee Andy Pycroft on the second morning of the game.

Stokes received a fine of 15% of his match fee, which is about £2,250, and one demerit point, his first since 2017.

Had Pycroft deemed the offence more serious – a Level 3 charge – Stokes could have been banned.

Earlier in the tour, Jos Buttler received a 15% fine of his match fee after he was caught on the stump mic calling Vernon Philander a “f****** k*******” and making a reference to his weight.

Kagiso Rabada is banned for this final Test having been given a fourth demerit point in two years for his celebration of the wicket of Joe Root in England’s win at Port Elizabeth.

Ashley Giles, the England director of cricket, last night called for beefed up security at the Bullring after members of England’s support staff were subject to abuse. That request has fallen on deaf ears.

“The stadium is not aware of this request and we also feel that the currently deployed security numbers is sufficient,” Reuben Niekerk, Venue Operations spokesperson, told PA. “Throwing additional numbers to a problem is not the solution.

“As initially done prior to the start of this Test, we have again reiterated to the field of play security (and other sensitive areas) to be more proactive in identifying spectators comments when players are in and around their respective areas (that's fielding on the boundary close to them or entering and exiting the field).

“In addition to this, the England Team Security consisting of two guys have agreed to ensure that at any given time at least one of them will be down at the dug-out/tunnel entrance from field to closely monitor any comments from the spectators."

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