England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been in the news recently, but for all the wrong reasons. He was engaged in a street brawl in Bristol that led to his arrest on the suspicion of causing actual bodily harm. He was later released without charge. Even a video showing Stokes involved in the brawl was released by the local newspaper. His inclusion for the Ashes series is under reviewed scrutiny now. This is not the first time Stokes has landed himself in trouble. During the England Lions tour in Australia in 2012/13, Stokes was sent back home for breaking a ban on late-night drinking.
This is not a one-off incident of a brawl that cricketers have been involved in. Cricwizz takes a look at few instances when international cricketers were involved in a brawl and brought disrepute to the game.
Ricky Ponting: During his early years in international cricket, Ponting was his brash self, admitting to a drinking problem. He landed himself in trouble when he was knocked down in a Sydney nightclub in 1999. He appeared before a press conference with a black eye. He was subsequently banned for three matches. During the 1998 tour of India, Ponting was evicted from a Kolkata discotheque after allegedly misbehaving with women members of the party. But Ponting worked on his alcohol problem and stayed away from controversy off the field.
David Warner: The Australian opener punched England cricketer Joe Root in a bar in Birmingham city during the 2013 Champions Trophy. The incident happened after England’s win over Australia at Edgbaston earlier that day. The row was over a fake beard that Root wore to poke fun on himself that he is too young to grow a beard, according to England officials. But Warner felt Root was impersonating and ridiculing the South African cricketer Hashim Amla. Warner was suspended from further participation in Champions Trophy. Later, Warner and Root buried the hatchet.
Indian cricketers: Post India’s loss in 2010 World T20 in West Indies, Indian cricketers had visited a pub to have a drink. Six Indian cricketers – Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Piyush Chawla, and Rohit Sharma – turned up at the pub. Nehra and four others were having a drink. Yuvraj was egging them on to the dance floor. Indian fans got agitated to see cricketers enjoy themselves after the disappointing loss and questioned them. A scuffle ensued, but bouncers intervened to restore order. However, the incident grabbed headlines and put Indian cricketers in a bad light.
Monty Panesar: He was a promising left-arm orthodox bowler, but threw it away with his drinking problem. In a Brighton nightclub, Panesar urinated over bouncers after he was thrown out of the club. He was fined for his misdemeanor. Panesar had a history of drinking problems. He was earlier thrown out of a club after young women complained that he was bothering them. He had also been arrested once after reports of an argument with his wife at a pub car park. He was later released without charge.