Ben Stokes’s wife has laughed off claims that the cricketer angrily ‘choked’ her at an awards ceremony last week – saying the couple’s antics were just a way of showing affection.
A report earlier today claimed that Stokes had grabbed his wife in a ‘chokehold’ shortly before the couple left the event at Camden’s Roundhouse venue.
But Mrs Stokes quickly made light of the claim, branding the story ‘nonsense’ and sharing a photo of her playfully squishing her husband’s cheeks.
‘Messing about’: Ben Stokes puts his hand on his wife’s face at a cricket awards ceremony in London last week, in what Clare Stokes, left, has described as a playful moment
Clare Stokes tweeted this message today after a photo emerged of her husband with his hand in her face at a cricket awards night last week. She made light of the picture, and even posted her own jokey version, with her hand in her husband’s face
The happy couple at the start of the evening at the Professional Cricketers’ Association party in London last Wednesday
Ben Stokes poses for the camera with the Reg Hayter Cup after winning the NatWest PCA Players Player of the Year
Speak to the hand: Mrs Stokes holds her hand up to her husband as he draped his arm around her while they chat to other guests at the awards ceremony
Pointing the finger: Now Clare points the finger at her famous cricketing husband as the awards ceremony
Face to face: The couple at the Professional Cricketers’ Association bash in London last week in animated conversation
The couple at the Roundhouse venue in Camden where one report claimed the cricketer had his wife in a ‘chokehold – but Clare Stokes has laughed it off
The couple chatting more privately after previously being surrounded by guests at the Roundhouse venue on Wednesday
Cricketing star Ben Stokes holds his hands up while having a conversation with his wife at the awards ceremony
The Ashes star was seen with his hand on Clare Stokes’s face at the Professional Cricketers’ Association party in London last Wednesday
The couple hop into a cab at 2.25am and appear happy. They later arrived at their hotel. Today Mrs Stokes revealed they had a romantic late-night McDonald’s
Clare Stokes posted all about her birthday weekend planned by her husband. In a reference to the furore today she said ‘not gonna let some idiots ruin what’s been an incredible 30th birthday
‘Unbelievable what nonsense these people will make up! Me and Ben messing about squishing up each other’s faces cos that’s how we show affection and some pap tries to twist it in to a crazy story!’, she wrote on Twitter.
‘And all before we then have a romantic McDonalds 20 mins later!’
Mrs Stokes also shared a photo of her and her husband posing on the red carpet.
Ben Stokes later retweeted his wife’s message, alongside with a kissing emoji, to his 600,000 followers.
Clare followed it up with an Instagram post featuring romantic pictures of the couple.
In the post, she thanked Ben Stokes for arranging a birthday weekend for her and said: ‘Not gonna let some idiots ruin what’s been an incredible 30th birthday.’
‘Had the most amazing birthday weekend! Ben planned it all as a surprise,’ she explained.
Ben Stokes enjoys a drink at the award ceremony in London on Wednesday, while his wife clinks her glass with another guest and chats
The pair were also pictured arm in arm at the event in Camden last Wednesday night. Clare Stokes earlier shared a photo of her playfully squishing her husband’s cheeks
In separate pictures, the couple were pictured kissing at the bar of the Camden venue, and later had dinner in McDonald’s
Ben Stokes shares a joke with the other guests at the award ceremony where he was pictured putting his hands on his wife’s face
Ben Stokes looking pensive as he pours himself some bubbly at the bar, while his wife shares a joke with other guests
The couple in an animated conversation with another award ceremony guest in London last Wednesday
Ben Stokes in full celebration mode with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth after he bags the players’ player of the year at the Professional Cricketers’ Association Awards in London
The couple have a bit of time away from other guests after Mr Stokes wins an award at the ceremony in London last Wednesday
Raising a glass: Clare Stokes shared these cheerful photos of her 30th birthday celebrations and said she would not let ‘idiots’ ruin the festivities
So in love: The couple celebrating Clare’s 30th birthday days after the cricket award ceremony
‘Got all my best friends and family there including flying people over from America and Australia!!!! Cried my eyes out! It was an incredible night and I’m so grateful to Ben for organising and to everyone who came.’
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: ‘We have spoken with both Clare and Ben – as well as others in attendance – who have all clarified the innocent context behind the still photographs taken at last week’s PCA Awards.
‘Whilst it is not the case here, we recognise that for the millions who are impacted by domestic violence, this is a very real and serious issue.’
Ben Stokes is heavy favourite to be voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year and has even been tipped for a knighthood after his heroics on the field this summer.
The 28-year-old helped England win the Cricket World Cup for the first time in July in a madcap final against New Zealand, the country of his birth.
Just weeks later Stokes played one of England’s greatest Test innings of all time to pull off a stunning comeback victory against Australia in the Ashes series.
His 135 not out led England to a thrilling win and he finished the five-match series as England’s most prolific run-scorer.
At last week’s ceremony he was awarded the Reg Hayter Cup for player of the year.
His exploits this summer marked a turnaround in Stokes’s fortunes less than 12 months after he was put on trial for affray.
Stokes’s career was in jeopardy after the brawl outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017, but he was found not guilty.
The couple married in 2017 and the pair live with their two children, Layton and Libby, in the North East.
His parents have moved back to their native New Zealand along with his brothers.
Mrs Stokes said they went for a ‘romantic McDonald’s’ after the event. They were later pictured returning to their hotel
Victory: Ben Stokes roars in celebration after hitting the winning runs to seal an incredible comeback victory over Australia in the third Ashes Test at Leeds