'I should not have reacted' - Ben Stokes apologises for foul-mouthed spat

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been quick to apologies for his foul mouthed tirade towards a spectator, having been captured swearing by TV cameras on day one of the fourth Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.

Stokes, 28, was heard in an ugly exchange with a fan after his dismissal in England's first innings. He is facing disciplinary action by the ICC.

The all-rounder was heard calling a member of the Johannesburg crowd a "f****** four-eyed c***".

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

In a statement from the England team, Stokes has apologised for his behaviour, holding his hands up over his clear breach of cricket's code of conduct.

"I wish to apologise for my language that was heard on the live broadcast today after my dismissal. I should not have reacted in that way," Stokes said.

"As I was leaving the playing area, I was subjected to repeated abuse from the crowd.

"I admit that my reaction was unprofessional, and I sincerely apologise for the language I used, especially to the many young fans watching the live telecast around the world.

"Throughout the Tests so far, the support from both sets of fans (England and South Africa) has been brilliant. One incident will not ruin such a competitive series, which we are determined to win."

Meanwhile, team director Ashley Giles added that Stokes was not the only member of the England set-up to be targeted during the first day's play at the Wanderers.

"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," Giles added.

There has been no word from officials as to what punishment Stokes will face for his outburst.