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England captain Ben Stokes in new ‘spirit of cricket’ uproar after Ashes image emerges

England captain Ben Stokes in new ‘spirit of cricket’ uproar after Ashes image emerges

Read Time:3 Minute, 44 Second

The ‘spirit of cricket’ debate is again in the Ashes spotlight but this time Australian fans are calling out England captain Ben Stokes.

Ever since Alex Carey stumped Jonny Bairstow during the final day of a tense second Test, the Australians have been slammed by England for going against the spirit of the game.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: A thunderous Mitch Marsh ton helps Australia fight back.

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Stokes claimed after the match he would have withdrawn the appeal had he been in Australia’s shoes.

“If I was fielding captain I would have had a real think about the spirit of the game. For Australia it was the match-winning moment. Would I want to win a game in that manner? The answer for me is no,” Stokes said after the match.

Fast forward to Day 1 of the third Test at Headingley and a questionable act by Stokes in the field had many fans question why he didn’t invoke the Ashes’ hot-button topic.

Ben Stokes’ arm appeared to touch the boundary rope while he had the ball in his hand. Credit: Screenshot

With the Aussies reeling at 4-85 after a dominant opening session by the hosts, a shot from Travis Head looked on track to hit the boundary rope.

A diving Stokes managed to stop the ball and save two runs – or so it seemed.

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On replay it looked pretty clear that the England captain’s left arm was in contact with the boundary as he grabbed the ball with his right hand.

The third umpire reviewed the footage and ultimately decided Stokes kept the ball in.

“That looks like four, four to me,” former England captain Nasser Hussain said in commentary.

“Wow, how’s that not a four? No idea how that’s not a four.”

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Of course, two runs in the grand scheme of a Test match is unlikely to have a major bearing on the final result, but fans were quick to question why Stokes didn’t own up due to the spirit of the game.

“Ben Stokes could of said that’s 4… now that he is all spirit of cricket focused,” one fan said.

“Hypocrisy at its absolute best,” another added with an image of Stokes’ fielding.

“Where is the spirit of cricket there Ben Stokes. Clearly 4,” another added.

England’s sloppy fielding has been a talking point after the hosts finished the day with the game in the balance rather than being in a dominant position.

They have now put down 14 catches for the series and missed one stumping, with Jonny Bairstow – the man at the centre of the first ‘spirit of cricket’ uproar – and Joe Root guilty of costly errors on Day 1 at Headingley.

Bairstow dropped Travis Head down the legside on eight on Thursday morning, before he went on to make 39.

Jonny Bairstow had a dirty day with the gloves and returned with the bat full of attitude. Credit: Getty Images

The England wicketkeeper has also put down several chances in this series, prompting calls for Ben Foakes to come in as gloveman and Bairstow to play as a specialist batter.

Root’s spill of Mitch Marsh on 12 particularly hurt England, with the allrounder finishing on 118 and forming a 155-run partnership with Head.

Bairstow was filthy with himself, and when he returned with the bat he was full of attitude.

He hammed it up to his home crowd, sticking his bat in the crease and eyeing the field while he did it.

Bairstow – who was promoted to No.5 – and Root went to stumps together on Thursday, with Bairstow on one and Root on 19.

England are trailing the Aussies by 195 runs at 3-68.

– With AAP

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