London - The wife of England cricket star Ben Stokes has dismissed reports of a physical altercation between the couple after pictures emerged which appeared to show her husband grabbing her face during last week's Professional Cricketers' Association awards.
Clare Stokes defended her husband in a Twitter post which included a photo of her pushing the cricketer's face in apparent mockery of the images that surfaced from the awards night, held in London on Wednesday.
"Unbelievable what nonsense these people will make up!" she said.
"Me and Ben messing about squishing up each other's faces cos that's how we show affection and some pap tries to twist it into a crazy story! And all before we then have a romantic McDonalds 20 mins later!"
The New Zealand-born cricketer responded to his wife's tweet with a face blowing a kiss emoji.
The 28-year-old Durham man won the players' player of the year award at the ceremony.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said it had spoken to Stokes and his wife, as well as others at the awards, and was satisfied with "the innocent context" behind the pictures.
"We have spoken with both Clare and Ben -- as well as others in attendance -- who have all clarified the innocent context behind the still photographs taken at last week's PCA Awards," ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said in a statement.
"Whilst it is not the case here, we recognise that for the millions who are impacted by domestic violence, this is a very real and serious issue."
All-rounder Stokes played a starring role in England's maiden World Cup win in July, hitting an unbeaten 84 in the final. He repeated his heroics in the Ashes with a sensational 135 not out to win the third Test against Australia at Headingley.
Unbelievable what nonsense these people will make up! Me and Ben messing about squishing up each other’s faces cos that’s how we show affection and some pap tries to twist it in to a crazy story! And all before we then have a romantic McDonalds 20 mins later! @benstokes38 pic.twitter.com/1HmPV1ZfxG— Clare Stokes (@clarey_11) October 8, 2019