'It's how we show affection!': Ben Stokes' wife laughs off 'crazy' claims the cricketer 'choked' her at an awards ceremony and posts joke tweet of her squishing his cheeks - before slamming 'idiots' trying to 'ruin her 30th birthday'
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.
The Ashes star was seen with his hand on Clare Stokes's face at the Professional Cricketers' Association party in London last Wednesday.
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.
'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.
'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.