Cape Town - England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been fined 15 percent of his match fee for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the opening day of the fourth Test against South Africa at the Wanderers.
Stokes was found to have breached Article 2.3 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “use of an audible obscenity during an International Match.”
In addition to this, one demerit point has been added to the disciplinary record of Stokes, for whom it was the first offence during a 24-month period.
The incident occurred when Stokes was walking back to the pavilion following his dismissal in the 46th over of England’s innings. Stokes used audible obscenity in response to taunts from the crowd, for which he later issued a public apology.
Stokes admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Andy Pycroft of the ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees and, as such, there was no need for a formal hearing.
On-field umpires Bruce Oxenford and Joel Wilson, third umpire Rod Tucker and fourth official Allahdien Palekar levelled the charges.
Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand, a maximum penalty of 50 percent of a player’s match fee, and one or two demerit points.
At the time of writing it's unclear whether Cricket South Africa (CSA) and/or the Wanderers management will launch an investigation into the identity of the spectator who incited the incident.
English cricket chiefs claimed staff and players were subjected to "personal abuse during and after the day's play".
According to the Guardian newspaper, witnesses said a middle-aged man, wearing a South Africa ODI shirt, had targeted Stokes, allegedly calling him a "ginger c***"
Ashley Giles, managing director of England men's cricket team, asked for security and stewarding to be improved for the remainder of the match.
Giles said it was "disappointing" that a member of the public had abused Stokes but said, "Ben is fully aware that he should not have reacted in the way he did."
"We have requested to the venue to ensure that security and stewarding are enhanced for the remainder of the match so that players and staff members can go about their duties without provocation," he said.
*When a player reaches four or more demerit points within a 24-month period, they are converted into suspension points and a player is banned
**Two suspension points equate to a ban from one Test or two ODIs or two T20Is, whatever comes first for the player
***Demerit Points to remain on a Player or Player Support Personnel’s disciplinary record for a period of 24 months from their imposition following which they will be expunged