LONDON: Ashley Giles fears Ben Stokes is being unfairly targeted following his England heroics as a series of negative stories have emerged about the all-rounder.

On Tuesday, pictures were published of an alleged physical altercation between Stokes and his wife.

Clare Stokes denied claims she had been the victim of domestic violence, while the England star issued a firm rebuttal in which he labelled the story ‘totally irresponsible’.

It has also emerged that Stokes and his mother are lau­nching legal action aga­inst The Sun following a front-page story on a family tragedy that occ­urred more than 30 years ago.

Giles has been in contact with Stokes.

And he admitted he is concerned about the harsh spotlight the 28-year-old finds himself in after a year that saw him help England win the World Cup and draw the Ashes series.

“I was pretty sure as soon as I saw the story there was nothing in it but it was great to speak to both of them,” Giles said. “They were obviously concerned. We can all say domestic violence is a really serious issue and we’re not making light of that at all but in this case it’s a very happy couple having some fun — a picture telling a thousand words but just the wrong ones.”

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2019