Article

Bayliss encourages Stokes to make public apology

16 août 2018 14:42

Trevor Bayliss believes a public apology from Ben Stokes in the wake of his affray trial will be forthcoming as England prepare for the third Test against India.

On Tuesday, Stokes was found not guilty of the charge at Bristol Crown Court, following an incident outside a nightclub in the city in September last year.

The case caused Stokes to miss England's 4-0 Ashes drubbing in Australia either side of the new year, while he was also absent for the recent second-Test win over India at Lord's, having played a starring role in the opening victory at Edgbaston.

Now back in the squad for the third instalment, which begins at Trent Bridge on Saturday, Stokes may issue an apology to the public, having already done so among his team-mates when he returned to the fold for the New Zealand series earlier this year.

"That [a public apology] will be up to Ben and his management team, I suppose," Bayliss said in a media conference on Thursday.

"But certainly, when he came out to New Zealand after the Ashes tour that he missed, he certainly addressed the players in the changing room when he first arrived. So from our point of view, his contrition was evident for the boys in the team.

"I think it was important to actually apologise to the boys in the team, management of the team and management at the ECB - who had to go through a lot of extra activities to work our way through it. I'm sure something will be forthcoming."

Bayliss revealed the decision to include Stokes in the third-Test squad was taken with the all-rounder's best interests in mind, although the Australian offered no guarantees on a place in the XI, with one of Chris Woakes, Sam Curran and Adil Rashid most likely to be replaced should Stokes return.

"It was a collective decision - myself, management, captain, the board, [selector] Ed Smith - everyone had a say," Bayliss said. "It was basically thought that for his own wellbeing it was good to get Ben back around the cricket.

"There's nothing automatic about selections, we'll see how he is mentally as well as physically. We'll find out over the next couple of days, I haven't actually spoken to him yet. We've got the next two days to assess where he's at.

"It's a good position to be in from that [a selection] point of view. We've got some guys in form, in the team. It will be a difficult decision to make. Whether it's Ben or someone else."

After a number of off-field misdemeanours - including Jonny Bairstow's headbutt greeting of Cameron Bancroft and Ben Duckett pouring a drink on James Anderson's head - Bayliss believes the behaviour within his team has improved drastically.

"Certainly since the Bristol incident there's a lot of work been done on team culture with the two captains and that will be ongoing," he said.

"We've had to make one or two changes - with curfews and that kind of thing - but there will be ongoing work on team culture and what it means to play for England

"Since a couple of small indiscretions in Australia, I can sit here now and say the players have finally woken up and have learnt their lesson. Their behaviour and the way they go about their professional off the field as well as on has been top class since."

 

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