Talented English all-rounder Ben Stokes’ first Bangladesh tour has been a happening one.
First, he engaged himself in a heated exchange with Bangladeshi players over an on-field issue after the first ODI on October 10. Luck favoured him at the time as the international cricketing body apparently overlooked the matter.
There was another incident during the practice match in Chittagong on October 16 in which, as the video below shows, Stokes looked away when the match’s sole centurion, BCB XI’s Abdul Mazid, tried to shake hands as a goodwill gesture.
Finally, on Sunday, October 30 – the day Bangladesh registered their first Test match victory against England at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium – the on and off-field gaffes concerning Stokes came full circle: Stokes’ fierce competitor in ODI all-rounder rankings, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, celebrated his dismissal with a familiar send-off: a salute.
A tale of a taunt
It all began in April last year, when the English side was visiting the Caribbean.
During the second Test in Grenada on April 23, after Stokes was out, Marlon Samuels stood to attention in a mocking salute until Stokes strode off the ground.
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Salutes you, sir: West Indies' Marlon Samuels gives England's Ben Stokes a send-off during the second Test in Grenada on April 23, 2015 AP
Controversy ensued with on and off-field verbal exchanges hitting the press till the rubber was over.
But Samuels hadn’t finished there.
To add insult to injury, he lambasted Stokes again in the post-match press conference after the ICC Twenty20 World Cup final, in which Samuels’ side beat the Pommies in a last-over drama. Unfortunately, it was Stokes who bowled the last over and four consecutive sixes finished the match, as well as the championship, for the English side.
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West Indies Marlon Samuels, right, celebrates past England's Ben Stokes after winning the final in Kolkata Kolkata on April 4, 2016 Reuters
Shakib joins salute rally
Stokes, for his heroic second innings counter-attack in the Chittagong Test, was considered a potent game-changer for England on Sunday afternoon too, when he came to the wicket after the fall off skipper Alistair Cook.
Shakib clean bowled Stokes on 25, leaving the visiting side rocking at 161/7, which gave the Tigers the sense of being on the winning side.
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Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan, right, celebrates taking the wicket of England's Ben Stokes during the third day of the second Test cricket match Bangladesh and England at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on October 30, 2016 AFP
As soon as the stumps fell to the ground, Shakib, in celebration, first ran off to the mid-off area like an off-leash horse, then came to a stop, and saluted.
Social media bowled over
The live TV broadcast did not show whether Stokes reacted or not, bit it hardly mattered to netizens.
Within a few hours, pictures of the salute and interesting anecdotes about it flooded social media.
Mrs Hasan too joined the rally.
Stokes wasn’t done either
Even Stokes couldn’t help joining the saga.
However, the night brought more misfortune for him though, along with the defeat.
He has been fined 15% of his match fee for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the second test against Bangladesh on Sunday.
Stokes was found to have violated Article 2.1.1 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to "conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game".
In addition to the sanction imposed for his breach of the article, one demerit point has been added to Stokes' disciplinary record.
The incident happened during the morning session's play on Sunday when Stokes ignored the on-field umpires' repeated requests and instructions to stop by continuing to verbally engage with Bangladesh batsman Sabbir Rahman.
The on-field umpires had also advised England captain Alastair Cook of Stokes' actions, but the player didn't comply with the instructions.
Stokes admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Ranjan Madugalle of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees making a formal hearing unnecessary.