Test Match Sofa
Lions' pair disciplined and sent home
By Mark Pennell
Kent pace bowler Matt Coles and Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes have been sent home from the England Lions tour of Australia following disciplinary hearings for unprofessional conduct.
The pair had contravened their conduct obligations previously during the trip and had already been issued with written warnings.
ECB Performance Director David Parsons said: “On a very challenging tour to Australia, both Matt and Ben have ignored the instructions given to them around their match preparation and recovery and, following previous warnings, it is regrettable that it has been necessary to terminate their involvement in the tour.
“Both are very talented individuals and it is hoped that, with the support of the ECB and their respective counties, they will take positive steps to give themselves the very best chance of fulfilling their potential.”
Commenting on the decision Coles said: “I am very sorry about what has happened and I believe I have learnt my lesson. I have apologised to the players and coaches involved, so would now like to move forward from this by looking ahead to the start of the county season at Kent.”
Stokes said:“I would like to apologise for the way in which I acted. I am determined to bounce back from this situation and I regret my actions off the field. I look forward to getting back to my county to start pre-season preparations.”
The ECB confirmed no replacement players will be called up to the squad.
Some better news for Kent followers is that popular all-rounder Darren Stevens was a member of the Dhaka Gladiators side that defended their BPL title in Mirpur.
The Gladiators totalled 172 for nine in their 20 overs with a top-score of 58 from Anamal Haq. Stevens, who has enjoyed another fine stint in this seven-team tournament in Bangladesh, contributed only eight from 13 balls in a one-sided final at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
The injury-hit Chittagong Kings could muster only 129 in reply and were skittled out inside 16.5 overs with Somerset’s Alfonso Thomas bagging three for 19. For the Kings, Essex pair Ryan ten Doeschate and Ravi Bopara scored two runs apiece while Surrey’s Jason Roy hit a confident 40 in a losing cause.
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