Stokes off Balance as he loses sponsor
Sports equipment manufacturer cancel contract after off-field incidents
Ben Stokes has had his contract with New Balance terminated, the sports equipment manufacturer announced last night.
Stokes was placed under investigation by police after being arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub last month.
New Balance said in a statement: “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. We will not provide further comment.”
Stokes was among a number of England players signed by New Balance including captain Joe Root, batsman Gary Ballance and bowler Mark Wood. The contract was reportedly worth £200,000 (Dh971,000) a year and provides Stokes with branded equipment, from bats to boots.
Earlier in the day, Stokes had apologised to British TV personality and former model Katie Price and her disabled son Harvey after a video emerged of the England allrounder impersonating the pair.
The video came to light in the wake of the Bristol incident.
He wrote: “I have written to both Harvey and Katie to say sorry and prior to this offered to meet in person at the end of last month with a view to also getting behind their petition about online bullying. I do hope I can put this right.”
It was confirmed last week that Stokes will not travel with the rest of the Ashes squad on October 27 until his legal issues are resolved.
Stokes was arrested and held overnight by police but, as yet, has not been charged with any offence.
The England squad are scheduled to meet at a training camp in Loughborough next week and it remains unclear if Stokes will be invited.
Bad to worse: Ben Stokes is subject of a police and ECB investigation.