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!”
Meanwhile Stokes has labelled allegations that he and his wife Clare were involved in a physical altercation at an awards ceremony as “totally irresponsible”.
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.
Stokes later responded with a statement to the Daily Mirror newspaper in which he paid tribute to the “wonderful relationship” he and his wife enjoy.
“I have become used to people making stuff up about me, but of all the topics not to mess with, domestic abuse has to be at the top of the list,” he said.
“It’s an incredibly serious issue for thousands of women -- and men -- who do suffer domestic abuse.”
“To falsify and spread these kind of allegations so willingly is totally irresponsible,” he added. “The way that this has come across is so far removed from what it was.”
England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison said in a statement: “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.”
Last month Stokes condemned as “utterly disgusting” a front-page story in the Sun newspaper reporting on a family tragedy from more than three decades ago.
He said it touched on “deeply personal and traumatic events” involving the deaths of members of his New Zealand-based family more than 30 years ago.
In August last year, Stokes was found not guilty of affray following a brawl outside a nightclub but was charged by the ECB with bringing the game into disrepute and subsequently banned for eight games, all of which were deemed to have been served.
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.