Cricket: Ben Stokes disciplinary decision

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

As a follow up to my posts of 17 August and 29 September 2018, although Ben Stokes was cleared, on 14 August 2018, by Bristol Crown Court of the criminal offence of affray, arising out of a fight outside a Bristol night club in September 2017, he also had to face disciplinary proceedings brought by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), which were held on 6 and 7 December 2018.

He was charged with bringing the game into disrepute as a result of this incident.

In the proceedings before the Cricket Disciplinary Commission (CDC), he pleaded guilty to this charge.

On 7 December 2018, the CDC, a body independent of the ECB, imposed on him an eight-match ban and a fine of £30,000.

However, the match ban by the CDC was made retroactive.

Thus, as Stokes, who is 27 years old, had already missed the 2017 Ashes Tour in Australia, whilst his case was being investigated, he is free to play for England in the forthcoming tour in the West Indies due to take place at the beginning of 2019.

Some commentators have expressed surprise at the leniency of the sporting sanction, but the ECB is satisfied with the outcome of the CDC proceedings, including the sanction imposed on Stokes.

ECB Chief Executive, Tom Harrison, stated:

“We accept the decisions made by the CDC and the [sanction] they have given to Ben Stokes….”

It would appear that, by admitting the commission of the disciplinary offence, Stokes has benefitted not only from his honesty but also from his apology and regret!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘ian.blackshaw@orange.fr’