London - Ben Stokes has insisted he did not wilfully obstruct the field
during the second one-day international at Lord's on Saturday after he suffered
one of cricket's rarest forms of dismissal.
England's 64-run defeat by world champions Australia was overshadowed by the
controversy that ensued early in the 26th over of their run chase.
Stokes, went down the pitch and played a Mitchell Starc delivery back to the
left-arm fast bowler, who then aimed a powerful throw back in his direction as
he tried for a run-out.
As Stokes leaned back and turned to make his ground, the ball hit the Durham
Australia appealed and, after lengthy deliberation involving the third
umpire, Stokes was given out, much to the anger of England captain Eoin Morgan,
who tried to take the matter up with opposing skipper Steven Smith.
Batsmen are allowed to protect themselves but they must not, under the Laws
of Cricket, "wilfully" obstruct the field.
Stokes told ESPN Cricinfo on Monday: "A guy was standing there five
feet away from me and it was just a complete reaction.
"I didn't put my hand there wilfully, it was purely out of human
reaction to protect myself. But the decision was made, there's nothing I can do
but it wasn't wilful whatsoever.
"It's one of those decisions where you can't look back and have any
regrets because it's been made. You can't change what's happened it's just a
shame it came to the uproar it has."
The series continues at Old Trafford on Tuesday, with Australia 2-0 up with
three to play.