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NZ-born cricketer Ben Stokes lashes out at 'immoral and heartless' UK tabloid's story on family tragedy

New Zealand-born British cricket star Ben Stokes has lashed out a tabloid newspaper there, calling it "utterly disgusting" and the "lowest form of journalism" after it published a front-page story about a family tragedy from 31 years ago.

The Sun decided to run a story yesterday on Stokes' family which revolved around a tragedy from 1988 - a decision which left Stokes heartbroken and fuming.

The England all rounder took to social media to publish a response in which he slammed the publication.

"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," Stokes began.

"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 the incredibly upsetting topic. If that wasn't bad enough, the Sun think it is acceptable to sensationalise our personal tragedy for their front page."

Stokes added the invasion of his family's privacy was also unacceptable. 

"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 28-year-old also said parts of the Sun's article were incorrect.

"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."

Stokes was born in Christchurch three years after the tragedy and eventually moved to the UK when he was 12.

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He described the story as “immoral and the lowest form of journalism”. Source: 1 NEWS