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Stokes is Real Hero: Gay Couple Hail England All-rounder For Defending Them

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been hailed a "real hero" for stepping in and protecting a gay couple in the incident which threatens his place on the Ashes tour.

AFP |October 28, 2017, 9:58 AM IST
Century-makers Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali piled on the agony for India's bowlers as England posted the highest score by a visiting team in nearly five years. Stokes smashed 128 runs after Ali, who had been unbeaten on 99 overnight, made 117 as England compiled a commanding total of 537. (AFP Photo)

London: England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been hailed a "real hero" for stepping in and protecting a gay couple in the incident which threatens his place on the Ashes tour.

The 26-year-old will not travel to Australia with the rest of the England squad when they fly out on Saturday as he waits to learn whether he will face criminal charges over an incident outside a nightclub in Bristol in September.

However, Kai Barry and Billy O'Connell told The Sun on Saturday that Stokes had been their white knight by stepping in to stop a group of revellers hurling homophobic abuse at them.

Barry and O'Connell said Stokes bought them drinks when they met him and fellow England team-mate Alex Hales in a club that evening.

"We were so grateful to Ben for stepping in to help. He was a real hero," 20-year-old O'Connell told the newspaper.

"Kai feared he could be attacked. If Ben hadn't intervened it could have been a lot worse for us."

Barry added things could have got ugly if the England star hadn't intervened.

"I'm not a fighter and we didn't want a fight," said Barry, 26. "We could've been in real trouble. Ben was a real gentleman."

Barry said they hadn't realised the fall out for Stokes until they received a visit from a police officer this week.

O'Connell said he hoped Stokes would get to play in Australia.

"Ben is a really nice guy and I hope he can still play for England in the Ashes," said O'Connell.

"It would be awful (if) his career was ruined over this. He was just trying to help defend Kai."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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