Lay off Stokes or risk making the game boring: Bayliss warns ICC

London [UK], Dec. 3 (ANI): England coach Trevor Bayliss has warned the International Cricket Council (ICC) to spare his all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has been involved in verbal spat in the recent past, or else the cricket body would be making the game too boring and sterile for the fans to watch.
Stokes was reprimanded and handed another demerit point for his verbal clash with Indian skipper Virat Kohli in Mohali Test of the ongoing five-match series.
The incident happened when Stokes reacted to India players' celebrations following his dismissal by making inappropriate comments which were heard by both the on-field umpires on the opening day of the third Test.
And clearly, there were frustrations in the English camp after the Indian Test skipper managed to get unscathed for his part in the spat.
The England coach believes the ICC needs to give the players a little bit of leverage to express their emotions or else in a bid for safe, sweet and innocent cricket, the game would lose its characters and personalities.
"I think he's improving," said Bayliss of Stokes. "I think at times ICC are almost looking for things."
"I agree that things have been out of hand in the past, and we don't want it to go overboard," Bayliss was quoted as saying by Mirror.co.uk. "But sometimes a little bit of by-play between a couple of guys on either side – who are passionate about their cricket and their team – I think it's good for the game."
"We've just got to be careful about what happens if we completely cut that out. I think having some personalities in the game is fantastic to watch. I think it's part of the game," he added.
The England boss had some sympathy with the 25-year-old all-rounder, who has had verbal spats and on-field arguments with Bangladesh's Shakib-al-Hasan and Marlon Samuels of the West Indies in the last year.
However, the England coach reckons that Stokes, who is such a key member of the team and is delivering more and more, could do with becoming a bit smarter in the way he copes.
"I think the send-off was probably the way it was.But he's got to learn to deal with it in a different way, or get away with it a bit better," he said. "I think he's come a long way in the last 12 months or so and I'm sure he'll keep improving in that area."
"He just doesn't stop. He's like a wind-up clock. Some of us are in awe of what he does. You get him off at the break, wind him up and send him back out," he added. (ANI)

Top