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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Ben Stokes will have to clean up his act if he wants to play for England again - Nixon

Former wicket-keeper Paul Nixon believes Ben Stokes will have to work extra hard to salvage his reputation after he was sent home from the England Lions’ tour in disgrace.

Ben Stokes photo
Ben Stokes

Durham all-rounder Stokes was thrown out of the England camp for “unprofessional conduct” after repeatedly going out late-night drinking. The 21-year-old, from Cockermouth, had already received a written warning for his off-field behaviour when he went on another night on the tiles with Kent all-rounder Matt Coles.

Nixon, the former England, Leicestershire and Kent gloveman from Langwathby, does not believe Stokes’ career will be permanently damaged, but he warned his fellow Cumbrian to clean up his act if he wants to force his way back into the international limelight.

The 42-year-old, who retired from the first-class game two years ago, said: “He needs to make sure he knuckles down and is ultra-professional from now on.

“We all make mistakes in life and no one is perfect but, at the end of the day, he is out there to play cricket and you have to be professional.

“He’s also being paid well to do it and you have to take responsibility for your actions.

“You can get labelled as a party boy, a drinker or a womaniser by people who don’t know you, as they only hear the end of the gossip. He is still a young lad with a lot of time left out in the middle.

“It shapes your character when you make mistakes. Now he has to put the extra effort in as he might have to work harder now to get back in there, but he has the ability to do that. It will be how he turns the situation round himself that will get him noticed.”

Stokes, who is already capped at one-day international and Twenty20 level, has issued an apology for his behaviour.

But he faces possible further disciplinary action by Durham, who are seeking an urgent meeting with their wayward young star.

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