Ex-England skipper defends ‘unprofessional’ Stokes after rant
Former England captain turned Sky Sports commentator Nasser Hussain has leapt to the defence of Ben Stokes following his verbal exchange with a fan.
Stokes apologised for his "unprofessional" foul-mouthed row with a spectator following his dismissal in Friday's Test against South Africa at The Wanderers that could see him face disciplinary action.
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"Come say that to me outside the ground, you f***ing four-eyed c***," Stokes appeared to say, according to television footage captured as he left the field and started to climb the steps leading to the dressing room.
However while not condoning Stokes' actions, Hussain admitted that it is much easier to keep your cool when you are not in the heat of battle.
How @benstokes38 reacted is unprofessional some would say but are we just accepting people can turn up at the Cricket & shout abuse to players !!???— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) January 24, 2020
"You can be very cool and calm up in a commentary box, but when you've just got out and someone is abusing you from the sidelines, sometimes you lose the plot," Hussain told The Mirror.
"Everyone wants a piece of Ben Stokes, good and bad. You see the other side of it, the bad side, when he's walking off, a South African fan will have a go at him and it's part of the game."
Hussain believes Stokes needs to work harder at blocking out the external noise from outside forces, including fans who direct abuse at him.
However he admitted it is difficult to do in the pressure cooker environment of Test cricket, especially for a player like Stokes.
"You're just going to have to suck it up," Hussain said.
"But it's easy for us to say. He probably regrets it now. There's no mileage in it; you can't win. You're going to have to bite your tongue."