England cricket hero Ben Stokes has apologised for his reaction to abuse from a fan in the Bullring.
The 28-year-old launched an angry tirade at a member of the crowd during the fourth Test, after he was targeted on his way back to the dressing room after getting out.
“Come and say that to me outside the ground you f***ing four-eyed c***,” Stokes was caught saying.
Following his return to the team hotel Stokes said in a statement: “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.
“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.”
Ben Stokes shouts "say that to me outside you f****** four-eyed c***" to supporter
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The language used by Stokes will almost certainly see him receive a charge of using an ‘audible obscenity during an international match’.
That would result in a minimal sanction with one demerit point the most he could receive.
England director of men's cricket Ashley Giles admitted Stokes "should not have reacted in the way he did".
However, he claimed several members of staff had been subjected to "personal abuse”.
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"It is disappointing that a member of the public has gone out of their way to abuse Ben as he was leaving the field," Giles said.
"We have requested to the venue to ensure that security and stewarding are enhanced for the remainder of the match so players and staff members can go about their duties without provocation."
England currently lead the four-match series 2-1. They closed the opening day on 192-4.
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