ECB chief sure Stokes has ‘learnt a lesson’

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England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison is sure Ben Stokes has “learnt a lesson” from his involvement in a fight outside a nightclub in Bristol last year.

The England allrounder was fined £30 000 by the Cricket Disciplinary Commission (CDC) and was retrospectively suspended for eight games for his part in a brawl outside the nightclub that was captured by cameras and went viral.

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Stokes also appeared in the Bristol Crown court but was found not guilty on a charge of affray that allowed him to continue his cricket career.

While he was banned after the ECB conducted their own investigations the player will miss no further matches as he had already missed several while awaiting trial.

Harrison insisted that Stokes is a leader in the England dressing room and can be a great role model for younger players.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Harrison said: “Ben is a leader in the England team. I do think he can [be a role model] – he’s been through a year that will serve as a constant reminder of how quickly things can go wrong if you allow them.

“He’s got great people around him, he’s got good support structures and I’m sure he’s learnt a lesson.”

Harrison also defended the independent nature of the own investigations as Stokes and Alex Hales will not miss any games on England’s upcoming tour to the West Indies early next year.

The ECB chief continued: “We have an independent body making these judgements, they are qualified people and this has been a proper process.

“The sanctions handed down are serious, this is not something that’s been brushed under the carpet.

“Ben is a key part of the Test and ODI team but I don’t think that’s got anything to do with the sanctions which have been handed down – the processes have been separate and deliberately so.”

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