Root, Stokes cleared of affray


World exclusive from The Bug’s Ashes reporter  Bob “Smash” Smaddocks 

Pair set to play in crucial fourth Test

England’s two top batsmen have been cleared of affray and are free to play in next week’s fourth Test clash against Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has accepted the explanations of captain Joe Root and all-rounder Ben Stokes regarding an ugly punch-up in a Leeds pub after the two players had played a major role in securing England’s sensational win at Headingley, Leeds.

I broke the story about the ugly pub stoush several days ago and I’m happy with the explanations given by the two England batting stars.

I can report that Root and Stokes were shouting good mate David Warner a few commiseratory lagers when a drunken pool player came over and berated Warner for his role in Sandpapergate last year.

“I say, chap, steady on. There’s no need for that,” Root apparently told the drunken oaf. “Davey’s feeling bad enough already knowing that if he could have just scored some decent runs in his second dig instead of resuming the absolute shit run he’s having this series, the urn would now be in Australia’s hands.”

Stokes also sprang to the defence of his Down Under mate, reportedly telling the beery buffoon: “Davey knows what a cunt he was as a senior player getting that poor young Bancroft to do his dirty work for him in South Africa.”

Root: “Yes, what a cunt. So he’s still paying his price for that with a string of shit scores so back off, eh? Why don’t you just go back to your game and leave the poor cunt alone?”

The Bug understands the drunkard then lunged at Stokes with his pool cue, and as our exclusive picture at top shows, Stokes in turn had to restrain Root who was threatening to give the chap a Liverpool kiss.

The ECB has accepted the players’ accounts of what happened and has ruled that their responses were “proportionate, timely and without malice of forethought”.

The Bug has also learned that after the players’ drinks were cut short by the pub closing at 4am, Stokes found out from staff where the local lad involved in the fracas lived. Stokes went around to the chap’s council flat, dragged the man from his bed and bashed him senseless in the street with a 3.7lb Stuart Surridge bat.

STOP PRESS: The ECB has just issued a statement that if any fresh evidence should come to light about the pub fracas in Leeds then police should investigate it “in a timely and thoroughly professional manner” as demanded by British justice and if deemed necessary, any charges should be laid as soon as the fifth Test at The Oval is completed.

“We are mindful of that cornerstone of British jurisprudence: ‘Justice hurried is justice denied,” the ECB statement concluded.