The Professional Cricketers' Association Awards honoured Ben Stokes for his role in England's Cricket World Cup win and recent Ashes performance. During the ceremony, media captured a picture of Stokes holding his wife, Clare Stokes' neck. The image sparked rumours of domestic violence. While Clare took to twitter to dismiss the claims, Ben gave an interview where he denied the claims and criticised the "irresponsible" reporting of the press.
The photo was taken while the couple was attending the PCA's award ceremony at Camden's Roundhouse. Ben claims that he had been showing his affection towards his wife when the image was clicked. The image was taken out of context and looks like an act of aggression towards Clare.
Following the accusation of domestic violence, the England and Wales Cricket Board questioned the couple and witnesses. Tom Harrison, the Chief executive of the cricket board, stated that the board investigated the case since domestic violence is not to be taken lightly. However, Harrison confirmed that the board came to the conclusion that the image was out of context and that there was no real incident of violence.
Clare tweeted that the claims were "nonsense" and that she was astonished by how far people will go to create fake stories. In her tweet, she shared an image of her squishing Ben's face while the couple is in a car. Clare pointed out that the couple often displayed their affection in the same fashion.
Clare even shared a heart-warming tweet about how Ben took it upon himself to arrange Clare's birthday celebration. Clare thanked her husband for planning the surprise celebration.
Both Clare and Ben confirmed that there was no conflict between them on the night of the awards. Ben spoke to The Daily Mirror and pointed out how problematic fake stories had become. Ben pointed out that allegations of domestic violence are serious issues that should not be used to create a buzz. While he is usually not bothered by fake news about him, such allegations are not to be taken lightly.
Many women face domestic violence as a reality. The press using it to create sensationalised news is disrespectful and irresponsible, the cricketer opined.