If it seems like forever since the name of Ben Stokes has made it onto the radar, it is because the last time much was said concerning the Pom cricketer was back in December of 2017.
Eight months in internet time is roughly equivalent to an eon in geologic time frames.
Stokes is back at the Bristol Crown Court in the continuing saga of the Christchurch born all-rounder, standing before the magistrate to answer for his role in a pub brawl that took place on September 25 of last year.
Stokes and his mates wanted to be admitted to the Mbargo nightclub after hours. He was denied entry, and he took umbrage and became involved in an altercation with Andrew Cunningham, a bouncer employed by the club.
Cunningham told the court, “He got a bit verbally abusive towards myself. He mentioned my gold teeth and he said I looked like a c… and I replied, ‘Thank you very much’.
Stokes allegedly also expressed disdain for Cunningham’s tattoos, which is grounds for a brawl in England if ever there were any.
Stokes was out on the town with teammate Alex Hales following an ODI with the Windies the previous day and apparently was feeling 10 feet tall, because the court report indicates that he began mocking a couple of the bar’s patrons as they were leaving.
Cunningham let that verbal abuse go unchallenged, but when Stokes flipped a cigarette butt at the two men, upon which he told Stokes, “I asked him, ‘If you are going to start on someone, start on me’,”
The men who were the target of Stokes’ fag left in the company of two other men, at which time, the fracas escalated and Stokes knocked the two men out cold.
The names of the two are Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale. The former is obviously no relation to Muhammad Ali.
Readers can decide: Is brawling in public more or less severe than ball tampering?