BEN STOKES has been sensationally dumped by England sponsors New Balance following his street brawl in Bristol last month.
The sportswear giant issued a damning statement and scrapped with immediate effect Stokes’ deal to use their bats and kit.
His contract, which includes bonuses for scoring centuries and other big on-field performances, was worth around £200,000-a-year.
The decision by New Balance is a crushing blow to Stokes, who last week was told he will not fly to the Ashes with the rest of the squad on October 28.
The company’s two other biggest cricket signings are England captain Joe Root and Aussie skipper Steve Smith.
Earlier this year, they completed a five-year deal worth £10 million to supply England’s kit.
A statement said: “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.”
It means that, when he does play again, Stokes will have to use blank bats or find another sponsor.
Whether Stokes will be allowed to wear New Balance kit on his international return remains to be seen.
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Stokes is still supported by Red Bull and a financial company called Centtrip.
He was arrested for suspected actual bodily harm at 2.35am on September 25.
When England supremo Andrew Strauss saw the Sun’s video of the punch-up, he immediately decided Stokes and batsman Alex Hales would not be considered for selection until further notice.
Hales was at the scene of the punch-up with Stokes but his lawyer says he is confident the police will not press charges.
Regardless of what Avon and Somerset Police decide to do, Stokes will still face an internal disciplinary process at the ECB.
Sunsport understands that he is unlikely to play for England for the entire winter.
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England threatening to sack gang of hard-core drinkers in Ashes squad after Ben Duckett suspended in latest incident
ENGLAND are threatening to sack a gang of hard-core drinkers in the Ashes squad. The crisis-hit tour of Australia sank to new depths as Ben Duckett was suspended for hurling a pint of beer over Jimmy Anderson in a late-night bust-up. Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen branded it a ‘f***ing embarrassment’. And furious coach Trevor […]
ENGLAND are threatening to sack a gang of hard-core drinkers in the Ashes squad.
The crisis-hit tour of Australia sank to new depths as Ben Duckett was suspended for hurling a pint of beer over Jimmy Anderson in a late-night bust-up.
Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen branded it a ‘f***ing embarrassment’.
And furious coach Trevor Bayliss raged: “I’m very fed up. I’m here to coach the team, yet end up spending most of my time in front of cameras trying to explain behaviour the boys have been warned about.
“We might have to review who is in the team. Blokes can’t keep making the same mistake. Some guys have got to pull their heads in.”
England Lion Duckett, 23, was axed from the two-day match against a Cricket Australia XI and risks being sent home.
The incident, in the early hours of Friday, happened in the SAME Perth bar as Jonny Bairstow’s bizarre headbutt on Aussie batsman Cameron Bancroft on the opening night of the tour.
England are already 2-0 down in the series and will lose The Ashes if they are beaten in Perth next week.
And it comes after the Bristol brawl when Ben Stokes and Alex Hales were suspended.
Bayliss added: “It’s totally unacceptable. There will be stern words from above. I’m not sure what more I can say.”
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Bayliss, team supremo Andrew Strauss and ECB chief exec Tom Harrison are sick of the same names cropping up when there is a problem.
Team management say these players have consistently failed to act on warnings to improve behaviour and cut out drinking.
They have even been asked outright by furious bosses: Are you stupid or do you actually have a drink problem?
It means the next step will be to dump them — possibly starting with the two-Test tour of New Zealand in March and April.
England will even be prepared to accept the team taking a backward step while younger players are bedded in.
Ashes 2017: Five key moments in day four as Joe Root leads by example and the Barmy Army tear into Steve Smith’s DRS woes
JOE ROOT led the charge as England finished on 176-4 on day four in Adelaide and kept their hopes of an incredible victory alive. After Jimmy Anderson ripped through the Australian batting lineup in the opening session, England batted brilliantly under the lights to take the game into a final day – with six […]
JOE ROOT led the charge as England finished on 176-4 on day four in Adelaide and kept their hopes of an incredible victory alive.
After Jimmy Anderson ripped through the Australian batting lineup in the opening session, England batted brilliantly under the lights to take the game into a final day – with six wickets still in hand.
Here are five key moments from a remarkable day Down Under.
England on the charge
FROM the very first ball, England got stuck into the Aussies and never let them settle.
Tim Paine came in relatively early but was timing the ball beautifully – until a surprise bouncer from Chris Woakes got big on him.
The wickie-batsman tried an audacious hook, but only picked out debutant Craig Overton who took a magnificent catch.
England never looked back.
Five star Jim
JIMMY ANDERSON was unplayable under the lights on day three – and proved to be in irresistible form the morning after.
Amazingly, this was his first five-wicket haul in Australia and came quickly enough to leave England in with a shout of winning the game.
Mitchell Starc – who top-scored for the Aussies with 20 – was the man to go, heaving a slog to Moeen Ali at mid-on.
To review or not to review..
ENGLAND began their innings positively but were desperate to avoid early wickets as they negotiated a tricky period just after tea.
So when Josh Hazlewood got one to fly across Alastair Cook and racked his pads right infront, the Aussies rightly went up in frantic appeal.
Aleem Dar said no – but despite the insistence of his bowler, captain Steve Smith bizarrely chose not to review it.
Replays showed it was stone dead plum.
JOE ROOT came in with his side having lost both openers in quick succession – and played the perfect captain’s knock.
So he might’ve had a couple of let-offs, surviving two big LBW appeals and even a referral.
But some of his shots were classic Root and there were glimpses that he’s back in nick after a run of disappointing scores.
Now the challenge is turning the half-century into a ton – and sealing the win.
The Barmy Army
ENGLAND’s supporters were absolutely phenomenal.
As Steve Smith wasted his two remaining reviews late in the final session, they took to mocking the Aussie skipper by making the DRS review motion in the stands.
Throughout that last crucial session, the ground was rocking and the atmosphere rocked Australia on their home turf.
Best fans in the world.
The Ashes 2017-18: England should stick with James Vince, but his knack for nicking cover drives is becoming a real problem
JAMES VINCE started the series so encouragingly with his innings of 83 in the First Test. He batted with calm assurance and probably would have scored a maiden Test century if he had not been brilliantly run out by Nathan Lyon’s pick up and direct hit. But since then he has had three failures and […]
JAMES VINCE started the series so encouragingly with his innings of 83 in the First Test.
He batted with calm assurance and probably would have scored a maiden Test century if he had not been brilliantly run out by Nathan Lyon’s pick up and direct hit.
But since then he has had three failures and been dismissed in the same way three times.
Vince’s particular form of Groundhog Day is to edge a catch either to the wicketkeeper or slip cordon, usually attempting an ambitious attacking stroke outside off stump.
To get out the same way a couple of times might be considered unlucky. To keep doing it could be considered foolish and failing to learn from his mistakes.
Vince is a stylish batsman who looks to have plenty of ability with a couple of technical flaws.
But playing at the highest level is all about managing an innings and reducing risk without compromising your attacking instincts.
It is difficult, very difficult, but the best batsmen find a way. They know when to attack and they know when to sit in and defend.
Vince made a top score of just 42 during the seven Test matches he played in 2016 and then as now he nearly always nicked off after playing a couple of fancy cover drives.
He was a surprise choice for this tour. He got the nod because the likes of Keaton Jennings and Tom Westley endured miserable home summers.
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And not only was Vince picked for the Ashes tour but he was picked to bat at No3 – two places higher than he batted in 2016.
Vince has made it very clear that he will continue to play his favourite cover drive.
He reasons that all batsmen edge catches into the slips from time to time.
If Vince has another poor match in the Third Test in Perth, it is possible head coach Trevor Bayliss and captain Joe Root will consider making a change.
That would mean a chance for Gary Ballance.
Personally, I think they should stick with Vince for at least one more game.
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