Did not wilfully obstruct the ball - Ben Stokes
England all-rounder, Ben Stokes, who was controversially given out for obstructing the field in the second One-Day International against Australia at Lord's, has clarified that his actions were not wilful.
Stokes had defended the ball back to the bowler, but was out of his crease, following which Mitchell Starc attempted a run out.
With the throw coming in from close quarters, Stokes instinctively attempted to get out of harm’s way, but the ball ended up hitting his outstretched hand.
The appeal for obstructing the field was referred to the third umpire Joel Wilson, who ruled it in favour of Australia.
This dismissal raked up quite a controversy with Australian captain, Steven Smith, standing his ground as he viewed it as intentional obstruction.
Clarifying his position on the incident, Stokes stated that his actions on the field were just to protect himself from the ball and it was not a deliberate one.
“A guy was standing there five feet away from me and it was just a complete reaction,” Stokes told ESPNCricinfo.
“I didn’t put my hand there wilfully, it was purely out of human reaction to protect myself.
“But the decision was made, there’s nothing I can do but it wasn’t wilful whatsoever.”
After Stokes’ dismissal, England were unable to get ahead in the game as they went on to lose a few more quick wickets, eventually succumbing to a 64-run defeat.
The 24-year-old was of the notion that his controversial dismissal has overshadowed the fact that England played poor cricket in the first two ODIs.
“It probably took away from the fact that we haven’t actually played very good cricket in the first couple of games which is the biggest thing for us so we just have to put it behind us.”
With Australia having taken a 2-0 lead after the win at Lord's, England have to win the remaining three ODIs to secure a series win.
© Cricket World 2015