England all-rounder Ben Stokes could land in serious trouble with the match referee after he was spotted having an angry exchange of words with a spectator on day 1 of the fourth and final Test match of the series against South Africa at Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Experiencing a rare failure, Stokes departed for 2 runs after being dismissed by Anrich Nortje. On his way back to the dressing room, he paused to respond to a spectator and was heard saying, "Come say that to me outside the ground, you f***ing four-eyed c***."
— Dan🔰 (@UtdUltra) January 24, 2020
The words were picked up by the broadcasters, although not while the live telecast. It was shown later after his dismissal. The clip soon went viral and was shared from multiple Twitter ids. However, the words of the spectator were not understood, but according to ESPNCricinfo, he suggested that Stokes looks like pop-star Ed Sheeran.
According to the International Cricket Council's code of conduct, the "use of an audible obscenity during an international match" is a level one offence, hence carrying the punishment of a fine of up to 50 per cent of the match fee and up to two demerit points. In another possibility, his words can be considered as a threat and Stokes could be charged with Level Three offence, hence ending with five to six demerit points which might lead to a suspension.