England stars Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes were involved in a heated on-field argument during the third day of their Boxing Day Test against South Africa in Centurion on Saturday.
The incident occurred after the fall of a South African wicket as the England players gathered together for the team huddle. Stokes, the England vice-captain, appeared to have been ticked off by something Broad said resulting in him firing back while storming away from the huddle.
“Well that doesn’t look like a very friendly conversation, does it?” West Indies legend Michael Holding said in commentary. “I’m not sure what started it, but hopefully it will end soon.”
Former England captain Nasser Hussain said he was ‘pleased’ that it happened. “England’s hot in the weather and not feeling well. I’m pleased that a few words were exchanged to be honest. (They’ve) got a problem with each other, Broad has said something in the huddle that Stokes is not amused with and England’s vice-captain picks him up on it. I don’t mind that at all.”
England’s source of frustration would have been the resistance shown by South African middle order trio of Rassie van der Dussen (51), Anrich Nortje (40) Quinton de Kock (34) and then Vernon Philander (46) as the helped their team achieve a significant lead despite the spicy SuperSport pitch.
The hosts recovered from 62/4 to be 284-all out and thus set England a daunting 376 to win.
However, the tourists have made a solid start to their chase with opener Rory Burns unbeaten on 77 as they finished the day on 121/1.
They need 255 runs to win with six sessions remaining in the series opener.