England all-rounder Ben Stokes has hit out at the International Cricket Council (ICC) for not treating all players equally. The English star accused the apex body of the game of favoring the Indian players during the ongoing five-match series.
Although the all-rounder did not mention any name, he insisted the rules should be same for everyone. Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin escaped any action from the ICC after he gave James Anderson a verbal welcome on the last day during the fourth Test before being stopped by on-field umpires.
Earlier, Stokes was reprimanded from the ICC after reacting to the Indian players’ celebration following his dismissal. He was found guilty of using “language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting”. And although the England star has no complaints with the reprimand, he has urged the ICC to treat all players in the same manner.
Speaking ahead of the final Test, he said:“I think that side of the game can be jumped on, and people get slapped with fines.If you’re going to do someone, you’ve got to do the next person, no matter who they are and who they play for.”
“It’s part of the game, so I don’t see any reason why they should clamp down on it so quickly. If there’s one rule, it’s got to be the same rule for everyone. It can’t just be that certain people get away with certain things, and other people don’t get away with them,” he added.
The 25-year also downplayed any possibility of bad blood with Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli after both players greeted each other’s dismissals with shushing gestures in Mohali.
“He looked like he was picking his nose when he did the quiet comment after I did it before him, but there’s been nothing else,” said Stokes.
When he was asked whether he has learnt his lessons from the mistakes, he said:”I’m constantly getting told to not swear, next to the stump mike.”
He also had a word of praise for Kohli, who has scored 640 runs in the series so far.
Stokes said:“You can’t say too much to a bloke who’s got 600 runs in the series. You’ve got to hold your hands up to him and appreciate the player he is.”
Meanwhile, the all-rounder said the visitors will not take the final match lightly. Alastair Cook’s men are trailing the series 3-0 and will get a chance to salvage some pride when the final Test starts in Chennai on December 16.
“We’re a team that will want to go home 3-1, not 4-0,” he said. “It’s not going to be a case of walking out there and letting them walk all over us. We want to win this game as much as we’ve wanted to win every other game so far.
“But losing isn’t the way you want to go about things. We’re disappointed to be going back to England after the way things have gone out here,” he concluded.