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Sports

Web Desk
September 18, 2019

Ben Stokes pens heartfelt note in response to story about family tragedy

Sports

Web Desk
Wed, Sep 18, 2019

LONDON: England cricket star Ben Stokes  lashed out at  a UK newspaper for the "heartless" and "immoral" decision to publish a story about his family tragedy that occurred in New Zealand before he was born.

In an emotional note on Twitter, the English  all-rounder said the story concerned "events in the private lives of my family, going back more than 31 years" adding that it contained "serious inaccuracies which has compounded the damage caused".

Stokes said: "The decision to publish these details has grave and lifelong consequences for my mum in particular." He added "To use my name as an excuse to shatter the privacy and private lives of - in particular - my parents is utterly disgusting.

"It is hard to find words that adequately describe such low and despicable behaviour, disguised as journalism. I cannot conceive of anything more immoral, heartless or contemptuous to the feelings and circumstances of my family."

"I am aware that my public profile brings with it consequences for me that I accept entirely," he said. "But I will not allow my public profile to be used as an excuse to invade the rights of my parents, my wife, my children or other family members. They are entitled to a private life of their own.

"For more than three decades, my family has worked hard to deal with the private trauma inevitably associated with these events and has taken great care to keep private what were deeply personal and traumatic events."

The cricketer's post has been retweeted by thousands of his fans and teammates, including by his Test captain Joe Root, who urged his followers to "please take the time to read this and respect it."

Stokes has been widely lauded  for  his starring performance in England's World Cup win against New Zealand at Lord's in July, and his blistering  unbeaten 135 in the third Ashes Test at Headingley, an innings that steered  England to square the series with a one-wicket win.