Sport Cricket Cricketer Ben Stokes’ punch victim an Afghanistan war veteran: reports
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Cricketer Ben Stokes’ punch victim an Afghanistan war veteran: reports

Ben Stokes punch victim
A man left lifeless after being punched by Ben Stokes has been identified as a former soldier. Photo: Getty
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The man punched by England cricket vice-captain Ben Stokes during a wild street brawl outside a Bristol nightclub last weekend has been revealed as a war veteran.

The New Zealand-born all-rounder was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm on Monday, after a man was left hospitalised with facial injuries.

And according to the victim’s relatives, Stokes should be banned from playing for his country ever again.

The 26-year-old cricketer was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) until further notice on Thursday, despite his selection for the Ashes the day prior.

It comes after the emergence of footage of Stokes and England teammate Alex Hales punching and kicking two men in the late-night fight.

Stokes remains under investigation by police after he was released without charge on Monday.

Watch the altercation below:

The victim of the Bristol incident has since been identified as 26-year-old Ryan Hale – a former British soldier who served in Afghanistan.

A family member, speaking to The Daily Telegraph on condition of anonymity, simply said “no” when asked if Stokes should be allowed to represent England.

“He should not be allowed to just carry on as if nothing has happened,” the relative said.

“[The victim is] a loving dad and a proper family man. He’s got a little boy … he wouldn’t instigate a fight.

“He’s a trained soldier, he’s been to Afghanistan, he knows better than that. But he knows how to handle himself.

“It’s quite shocking. I don’t think he’s said much to anybody. You wouldn’t expect that kind of behaviour.”

Meanwhile, Hale’s mother Angela said her son was “not an aggressive type”.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes was suspended indefinitely after the Bristol brawl footage emerged. Photo: Getty

“He is not ok and it is not something that happens on a daily basis,” she told The Telegraph.

Stokes is no stranger to controversy, having been involved in several incidents in the past.

Less than 24 hours after the emergence of the wild street altercation, new vision surfaced of the English cricketer mocking a disabled teenager – the 15-year-old son of model Katie Price.

In 2011 he was arrested for obstructing police on a night out and ultimately cautioned.

The following year saw him sent home from an England Lions tour in Australia, alongside teammate Matt Coles, for repeatedly flouting rules on late-night drinking.

And England was made to do without the all-rounder at the 2014 World T20 after he punched a dressing-room locker in Barbados in frustration at a run of poor form, breaking his hand.

In 2016, Stokes appeared at Northallerton Magistrates Court after being convicted of speeding for a fourth time.

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