Ben Stokes attains career-best Test all-rounder ranking by ICC, reprimanded for hurling abuses at fan


DUBAI: Ben Stokes on Friday attained his career-best Test all-rounder ranking, after moving to the second spot in the latest rankings revealed by the ICC.

Stokes had played a knock of 120 against South Africa in the third Test at Port Elizabeth. He is at the 10th spot in the batsmen rankings while he is on the 29th place among bowlers.

India skipper Virat Kohli has retained his first place in the ICC Test batsmen rankings, while Steve Smith is on the second place.

In the batting rankings, Ajinkya Rahane has moved one place to take the eighth spot in the Test batsmen rankings.

Former Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews scored his maiden double ton against Zimbabwe in the first Test, and as a result, he has entered top 20 batsmen rankings in the longest format.

England’s Ollie Pope, Player of the Match for his unbeaten 135 in Port Elizabeth, has moved up 52 slots to 61st place while Sam Curran and Dom Sibley have advanced four slots each to reach 64th and 76th positions, respectively.

Reprimanded ober abuses

Meanwhile, Ben Stokes on Saturday was fined 15 per cent of his match fees for using ‘audible obscenity’ during an international match.

The star all-rounder was found guilty of breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the first day of the ongoing fourth Test between England and South Africa.

The incident had occurred when Stokes was walking back to the pavilion following his dismissal in the 46th over of England’s innings. He used audible obscenity in response to taunts from the crowd, for which he later issued a public apology.

He breached Article 2.3 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “use of an audible obscenity during an international match”.

One demerit point has also been added to the disciplinary record of Stokes, for whom it was the first offence during a 24-month period.

Stokes admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Andy Pycroft of the ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees.

On-field umpires Bruce Oxenford and Joel Wilson, third umpire Rod Tucker and fourth official Allahdien Palekar levelled the charges against Stokes. (ANI)

Issues apology

Ben Stokes on Saturday issued an apology to his fans for his “unprofessional” behaviour on the first day of the fourth Test against South Africa. A spectator on Friday likened him to the singer, Ed Sheeran after the all-rounder’s dismissal. As Stokes was leaving the field, he paused and appeared to abuse the fan, ESPN Cricinfo reported. Following the incident, Stokes took to Twitter to issue an apology.

“I wish to apologise 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,” Ben said in the message.

“I admit that my reaction was unprofessional, and I sincerely apologise for the language I used, especially to the many young fans watching the live telecast around the world,” he added.

Stokes also admitted that the support from both sets of fans, England and South Africa, has been brilliant and his team is determined to win the series. “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,” he said. (ANI)