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The Ben Stokes affair: a dismal tale of power without responsibility | Barney Ronay

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No English cricketer has got so rich so fast but the all-rounder’s figures do not add up to a career as successful as it should be

A few months ago a study was published warning against the use of hand dryers in public lavatories because of the high density of airborne human waste particles. Turning on a hand dryer hugely accelerates the rate at which these circulate the room. So, to take a topical example, when Madonna lingers sensually over the jet from a hot-air dryer in the iconic video to the No 1 hit Get Into The Groove she is basically bombarding her own face with particles of human excrement, blowing accumulated toxic faecal matter directly into her eyes, nose, mouth and hair.

Related: Ben Stokes back for England v India in one of Root’s ‘most difficult decisions’

Not since 13 August 1955 has a Test in England started on a Saturday, when Peter May captained a team featuring Brian Close, Denis Compton and Jim Laker against South Africa at the Oval (they would win by 92 runs). Fast-forward through 63 years of mostly Thursday starts – with a few Fridays, Wednesdays and, in 2014, a Sunday – and we are in the midst of a five-Test series being played over a breakneck 42 days.

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