Ben Stokes took to Twitter after the third day’s play between South Africa and England at Port Elizabeth to clarify the meaning of England’s celebrations in the aftermath of their dismissal of Anrich Nortje, interpreted by some as a send-off.
After the nightwatchman, who resisted England for 136 balls and over three hours, was dismissed, England’s players could be seen in a group waving someone off the field and laughing. Some fans took this as a sign of disrespect to Nortje, and called for England’s players to be punished similarly to Kagiso Rabada, who will miss the final Test after accumulating a fourth demerit point for breaching the ICC code of conduct with his celebration upon the dismissal of Joe Root in the first innings.
@ICC @OfficialCSA @MichaelVaughan Please someone explain if this is allowed and what’s the difference between KG’s celebration and @JoeRoot38 @benstokes38 sending off Nortje in that fashion after dismissing him? Are they gonna get banned as well or ICC will look away? pic.twitter.com/F5c3MACjP8
— Saziso Sibiya (@Sazero06) January 18, 2020
But Stokes, responding to one Twitter user, clarified that their actions were simply a joke with umpire Bruce Oxenford. Oxenford was returning to the field to take the place of the umpire standing in his stead, and with the replacement umpire having been on the field for two of England’s wickets, the tourists wanted him to continue. In the clip, Root can be seen mouthing “go away Bruce”.
“Just to clarify,” tweeted Stokes, “this was to Bruce Oxenford to stay off the field as a joke, as the replacement umpire was on the field for [two] of our wickets while Bruce wasn’t on the field, nothing was aimed at Nortje whatsoever [sic].”
Just to clarify…this was to Bruce Oxenford to stay off the field as a joke,as the replacement umpire was on the field for 2 of our wickets whilst Bruce wasn’t on the field,nothing was aimed at Nortje what so ever 👍 all clear https://t.co/t1rwdBVKZs
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) January 18, 2020