ECB keep Ben on central contract
BEN Stokes has suffered another blow after losing his sponsorship with sportswear brand New Balance.
Stokes, 26, was arrested last month on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm following an incident in Bristol and now New Balance have pulled the plug on a deal which was earning the all-rounder a reported £200,000 a year.
New Balance, who also provide the kit for the England team, said it “does not condone behaviour that does not match our brand culture and values”.
New Balance’s decision to bin Stokes came just hours after the Durham man had tweeted an apology to TV personality Katie Price and her son Harvey for a video that appeared to show him imitating a TV appearance made by the disabled youngster.
The tweet from England’s Test vice-captain read: “I foolishly attempted to copy the clip. I should never have done this and I am so sorry.
“It was absolutely not my intention to offend Harvey, Katie or anybody else. 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.”
Stokes has however been awarded a central contract by England for 2017-18, though the ECB has said Stokes will not travel to Australia for the upcoming Ashes tour on October 28 with the rest of the Ashes squad “at this stage”.
Alex Hales, who was with Stokes on the night of his arrest, has also been awarded an ODI/T20 contract for the next 12 months.
Centrally contracted players for 2017-18
Test contracts: Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes
Moeen Ali, Jake Ball, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan, Liam Plunkett, Joe Root, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood