Sunday 25 August 2019

England cricketer Ben Stokes weds fiancée Clare Ratcliffe in lavish Somerset ceremony

England all-rounder Ben Stokes kisses his newly married wife Clare, out side St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset
England all-rounder Ben Stokes kisses his newly married wife Clare, out side St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset
England all-rounder Ben Stokes kisses his newly married wife Clare, out side St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset
England all-rounder Ben Stokes arrives for his marriage to fiancee Clare Ratcliffe, at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset
England cricket players Jos Buttler (left), Eoin Morgan (centre) and Sam Billings (right) arrive at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, for the wedding of Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe
A general view of St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, where England all-rounder Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe are to be married
England cricket player Alastair Cook (front left) with his wife Alice, and Paul Collingwood (rear, left) and Stuart Broad (rear, right) arrive at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, for the wedding of Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe
England cricket player Alastair Cook (left) with his wife Alice, and Stuart Broad (second right) and Paul Collingwood arrive at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, for the wedding of Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe
England all-rounder Ben Stokes' fiancee Clare Ratcliffe arrives at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, before the wedding
England all-rounder Ben Stokes' fiancee Clare Ratcliffe arrives at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, before the wedding
England cricket players Jos Buttler (left), Sam Billings and (centre) and Eoin Morgan (right) arrive at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, for the wedding of Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe
England cricket Test team captain Joe Root arrives at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, for the wedding of Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe
England all-rounder Ben Stokes and his newly married wife Clare, outside St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset
England all-rounder Ben Stokes and his newly married wife Clare, outside St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset
England all-rounder Ben Stokes kisses his newly married wife Clare, out side St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset
England all-rounder Ben Stokes (left) arrives for his marriage to fiancee Clare Ratcliffe, at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset
England all-rounder Ben Stokes' fiancee Clare Ratcliffe arrives at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, before the wedding
England cricket player Alastair Cook (left) with his wife Alice, and Stuart Broad (second right) and Paul Collingwood arrive at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, for the wedding of Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe
England cricket player Alastair Cook with his wife Alice, arrive at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, for the wedding of Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe
A general view of a St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, where England all-rounder Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe are to be married
England all-rounder Ben Stokes (centre) arrives for his marriage to fiancee Clare Ratcliffe, at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset

Rod Minchin

England cricketer Ben Stokes has married his fiancée Clare Ratcliffe.

The couple tied the knot at the church of St Mary the Virgin in East Brent, near Weston super Mare, Somerset.

Among the guests were current England Test captain Joe Root, former captain Alistair Cook, fast bowler Stuart Broad, wicket-keeper Jos Buttler and Durham colleague Paul Collingwood. Guests sang hymns including Jerusalem during the 40-minute service.

There were loud cheers from guests at the end of the ceremony and the newly married couple posed for pictures and kissed outside the church.

Earlier this week representatives of Stokes said the cricketer will offer a full explanation of the incident in Bristol last month which could cost him his Ashes place "when the time is right".

The England all-rounder, 26, was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm following a disturbance outside a nightclub in the city on September 25. He will not travel to Australia with the rest of the England squad for this winter's Ashes series as he waits to learn whether he will face criminal charges.

England cricket players Jos Buttler (left), Eoin Morgan (centre) and Sam Billings (right) arrive at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, for the wedding of Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe
England cricket players Jos Buttler (left), Eoin Morgan (centre) and Sam Billings (right) arrive at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, for the wedding of Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe

He has not been ruled out of the five-Test series which starts on November 23, but the England and Wales Cricket Board will not consider him for selection until further notice as it awaits developments in the ongoing investigation by Avon and Somerset Police.

Neil Fairbrother, Stokes' agent with International Sports Management, said the Durham player would discuss his version of events in due course, but did not wish to prejudice the investigation.

England cricket player Alastair Cook (front left) with his wife Alice, and Paul Collingwood (rear, left) and Stuart Broad (rear, right) arrive at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, for the wedding of Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe
England cricket player Alastair Cook (front left) with his wife Alice, and Paul Collingwood (rear, left) and Stuart Broad (rear, right) arrive at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, for the wedding of Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe

Journalist and TV presenter Piers Morgan, an acquaintance of several cricketers, claimed last month that the alleged fight occurred after Stokes and international team-mate Alex Hales had defended two gay men from homophobic abuse.

Stokes' contract with sports equipment manufacturer New Balance was terminated on Wednesday. New Balance said it "does not condone behaviour ... that does not match our brand culture and values" as it ended its relationship with Stokes.

England cricket Test team captain Joe Root arrives at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, for the wedding of Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe
England cricket Test team captain Joe Root arrives at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, for the wedding of Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe

The company's decision was announced hours after Stokes apologised to Katie Price and her disabled son Harvey after a video emerged of Stokes impersonating the pair. The video came to light shortly after Stokes' arrest last month.

Stokes, who is also subject to internal disciplinary action, has had his central contract renewed by the ECB since his arrest.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes and his newly married wife Clare, outside St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset
England all-rounder Ben Stokes and his newly married wife Clare, outside St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset
England cricket player Alastair Cook with his wife Alice, arrive at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, for the wedding of Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe
England cricket player Alastair Cook with his wife Alice, arrive at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset, for the wedding of Ben Stokes and his fiancee Clare Ratcliffe
England all-rounder Ben Stokes (centre) arrives for his marriage to fiancee Clare Ratcliffe, at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset
England all-rounder Ben Stokes (centre) arrives for his marriage to fiancee Clare Ratcliffe, at St Mary the Virgin, East Brent, Somerset

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