England stars rally behind Ben Stokes after furious statement over newspaper report
England star Ben Stokes has received the support of his team-mates and the ECB after posting a furious statement on Twitter.
Stokes posted a lengthy statement after a national newspaper report into his personal life was released today.
The all-rounder, who played a key role as England won the World Cup for the first time, wrote: “Today the Sun has seen fit to publish extremely painful, sensitive and personal details concerning events in the private lives of my family, going back more than 31 years.
“It is hard to find words that adequately describe such low and despicable behaviour, disguised as journalism. I cannot conceive of anything more immoral, heartless or contemptuous to the feelings and circumstances of my family.
“For more than three decades, my family has worked hard to deal with the private trauma inevitably associated with these events and has taken great care to keep private what were deeply personal and traumatic events. On Saturday, the Sun sent a ‘reporter’ to my parents’ home in New Zealand to question them, out of the blue, on this incredibly upsetting topic. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Sun think it is acceptable to sensationalise our personal tragedy for their front page.
“To use my name as an excuse to shatter the privacy and private lives of – in particular- my parents, is utterly disgusting. I am aware that my public profile brings with it consequences for me that I accept entirely. But I will not allow my public profile to be used as an excuse to invade the rights of my parents, my wife, my children or other family members. They are entitled to a private life of their own. The decision to publish these details has grave and lifelong consequences for my mum in particular.
“This is the lowest form of journalism, focused only on chasing sales with absolutely no regard for the devastation caused to lives as a consequence. It is totally out of order.
“The article also contains serious inaccuracies which has compounded the damage caused. We need to take a serious look at how we allow our press to behave.
“Despite the fact that this has now been made public, I do please ask all concerned to respect my family’s privacy and right to home life.”
And Stokes swiftly got the support from his international team-mates with Jos Buttler retweeting his post.
Test captain Joe Root added: “Please take the time to read this and respect it.”
While opening batsman Joe Denly simply put: “Terrible, shame on you”
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison condemned the story with a statement released to the BBC.
“We, like the wider sporting world, are disgusted and appalled at the actions taken in revealing the tragic events from Ben’s past,” Harrison said.
“We are saddened that an intrusion of this magnitude was deemed necessary in order to sell newspapers or secure clicks.
“Ben’s exploits at Lord’s and Headingley cemented his place in cricket history this summer – we are sure the whole sport, and the country, stands behind him in support.”
England cricket’s Twitter account also appeared to show their support with a picture of Stokes being embraced by his team, captioned with a blue heart emoji.
Stokes had a sterling summer, guiding England to their maiden World Cup win before performing a stunning rescue act as England won the third Ashes Test at Headingley.
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