Stokes dropped by spon­sor, apol­o­gises for bad be­hav­iour

The Nation - - SPORT -

ENG­LAND CRICK­ETER Ben Stokes has lost his spon­sor­ship con­tract with sports­wear giant New Bal­ance fol­low­ing his ar­rest out­side a night­club which also left his Ashes se­ries in doubt.

Stokes, who was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of caus­ing ac­tual bod­ily harm, also is­sued an apol­ogy after video emerged of him mim­ick­ing the dis­abled son of Bri­tish celebrity Katie Price.

Amer­i­can firm New Bal­ance said it “does not con­done” be­hav­iour by Stokes, who is also be­lieved to be the sub­ject of a damn­ing video show­ing a man throw­ing mul­ti­ple punches out­side the Bris­tol nightspot.

“New Bal­ance does not con­done be­hav­iour by our global ath­letes that does not match our brand cul­ture and val­ues, and there­fore we have ended our re­la­tion­ship with Ben Stokes, ef­fec­tive Oc­to­ber 11, 2017,” the com­pany said, in a state­ment which was widely re­ported by Bri­tish me­dia.

The tal­is­manic all­rounder’s ca­reer has been plunged into tur­moil fol­low­ing his ar­rest last month, which prompted his sus­pen­sion un­til fur­ther no­tice by the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board.

No fi­nal de­ci­sion has been taken on whether the Test vice-cap­tain will play the Ashes se­ries in Aus­tralia but he will not travel with the other play­ers on Oc­to­ber 28, the ECB has said.

Sep­a­rately, the em­bat­tled Stokes posted an apol­ogy on Twit­ter after his mock­ing im­per­son­ation of a TV ap­pear­ance by 15-year-old Har­vey Price, who suf­fers from a ge­netic dis­or­der, drew strong con­dem­na­tion.

“I should never have done this and I am so sorry,” Stokes wrote. “It was ab­so­lutely not my in­ten­tion to of­fend Har­vey, Katie or any­body else... I do hope I can put this right.”

Mean­while, Aus­tralian Test great Steve Waugh says Eng­land can’t win the Ashes with­out Ben Stokes and the bad boy all­rounder would have been dumped im­me­di­ately if he was Aus­tralian.

“If he doesn’t come, I don’t think they can win the Ashes,” Waugh told Sky Sports Ra­dio late Tues­day.

“I think if it was any­one in the Aus­tralian side, they wouldn’t be picked. You can’t do that these days in public. It just didn’t look good and it’s a bad image for the game,” he said.


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