Stokes 'not the same' since trial – Flintoff

Ben Stokes

England all-rounder Ben Stokes is “not the same” player as before his trial for affray, according to former England captain Andrew Flintoff.

Stokes, 27, was found not guilty in August after an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2017.

Stokes missed the second Test against India because of his trial but returned for the rest of the series.

“You know when someone comes back and they lose a little bit of their aura?” Flintoff said referring to Stokes.

“To me, there’s a bit of an unsureness about him,” he told the BBC podcast, Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy.

“Ben Stokes goes through what he’s come back from and to me, I watch him play and it’s not the same Ben Stokes at the minute.”

The Bristol incident, in which Stokes was involved in a street brawl, occurred several hours after England had played a one-day international against the West Indies at the County Ground.

Stokes was unavailable for selection for last winter’s Ashes series before returning for the tour of New Zealand and this summer’s home series against Pakistan and India.

He took six wickets in the first Test before missing the second Test and managed eight wickets in the three Tests following the trial.

He did score 62 against India in his first match after his trial – although that was only his second 50 since the New Zealand tour.

Last week, Stokes and Alex Hales, who was present at the incident, were charged with bringing the game into disrepute by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

“You’re aware of what people are thinking and that does rub off on you,” Flintoff, who was also an all-rounder, said on his BBC podcast, Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy.

“You’re not just trying to win a game, you’re trying to win people over.

“He’s doing all right, but it’s not that Ben Stokes that we saw pre his trial. And it takes a while to come back from and he hope he does.”

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BBC Sport – Cricket

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