Ben Stokes sanctioned for outburst on day two of England-Windies Test
Sky pundits describe Stokes' demerit point as 'ridiculous'
By Stephen Turner
Last Updated: 27/08/17 10:44am
Ben Stokes has been sanctioned for an on-field outburst during day two of England's second Test against West Indies.
The all-rounder admitted breaching Level 1 of the International Cricket Council's code of conduct and accepted a point on his disciplinary record, putting him on the brink of a suspension - Stokes now has three points on his record, one short of the threshold for a ban.
The offence came in the penultimate over of a frustrating day for England's bowlers as West Indies closed on 329-5 in response to their hosts' 258.
Shai Hope, one of two Windies centurions, edged Stokes for four, bringing an audible response which to amounted to "using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during an international match".
An ICC statement read: "After the end of Saturday's play, Stokes admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by David Boon of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees and, as such, there was no need for a formal hearing."
Sky Sports' Michael Atherton, however, branded the decision "ridiculous" and believes a tweak to the rules is in order.
"Stokes is no angel and has got himself into plenty of scrapes - but he wheeled away and swore to himself," said Atherton.
"I have no problems if the match referee intervenes if any player swears at or abuses an opponent but swearing to yourself at the end of the day?
"You've got to give players leeway. David Boon might just say he is following protocol and he probably is, but the protocol has to be changed."
Atherton's fellow commentator, Mikey Holding, said: "This is one occasion where you have to say the law is an ass.
"They need to look at the regulations. If you are going to get a demerit point for swearing, you should need six demerit points to get a ban.
"These guys are out there in a hard contest and can get frustrated at times - I know about frustration. You can't just kick someone out of the game."
Shannon Gabriel was not penalised for giving Stokes a send-off after dismissing the all-rounder on day one and England assistant coach Paul Farbrace added: "It's disappointing that Ben has copped it when another guy gave a send-off, very visibly, and nothing happened to him."