TODAY |

'Four-eyed ****' – Ben Stokes swears at fan against South Africa

England all-rounder Ben Stokes could find himself in trouble after appearing to swear at a fan as he walked off the field on the first day of the final Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.

Stokes was clearly angered by comments directed at him as he headed for the players' tunnel after being dismissed for just 2. He shouted “come and say it to me outside the ground” before aiming two expletives at the person. The incident was caught on the live television coverage.

It wasn't immediately clear who Stokes was directing the expletives at as he turned to his right and pointed with his right hand in the direction of nearby fans before walking up the tunnel.

The England team declined to immediately comment on the incident, citing the need to wait to hear if match referee Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe was going to take any action.

Stokes, who is the England team's vice captain, had just won back his reputation by being crowned the world player of the year for 2019 and being awarded an OBE by the Queen.

That was in recognition of his stellar 2019, when he was pivotal in helping England win the Cricket World Cup and also played one of the most memorable Test innings to make a century and snatch victory from almost-certain defeat in an Ashes test against Australia.

But his apparent challenge to a fan to have a fight outside the Wanderers Stadium drags up a checkered disciplinary past.

Stokes faced criminal trial in Britain over a street brawl outside a nightclub in late 2017. He was acquitted after he said he got involved in the brawl to defend a gay couple from homophobic abuse. But he was fined and banned by the England and Wales Cricket Board for bringing the game into disrepute.

Stokes was also sent home from an England youth team tour early in his career for breaches of discipline.

England had slipped from 107-0 to 157-4 at the Wanderers when Stokes was out and was under pressure on the opening day of the decisive test. England recovered to 192-4 by stumps.

Stokes has continued his brilliant form in South Africa to help England to a 2-1 lead ahead of the last test.

He made a game-changing half-century in the second test in Cape Town and also took six catches and the match-winning wickets in that game. He made a century to help England win the third Test by an innings and 53 runs to go 2-1 up.