Gareth Southgate: 'More people want to trip up footballers than cricketers'

Southgate: 'More freedom in cricket'
Gareth Southgate believes that England's footballers could not enjoy the freedom of their cricketing counterparts due to more people trying to "trip them up".

Gareth Southgate has claimed that England's footballers could not enjoy the freedom of their cricketing counterparts due to more people trying to "trip them up".

The Three Lions manager made the statement in light of Ben Stokes's arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm after an incident in Bristol in the early hours of Monday morning.

The 26-year-old was released by police without charge, pending further investigation, and has since been suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

England had beaten West Indies by 124 runs in their third one-day international in Bristol the previous day, with Stokes scoring 73.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Southgate has claimed that his players could not be given the same time off as their cricket equivalents, as they would be more vulnerable to pitfalls.

"I don't think our guys could have that freedom because there is more people wanting to get involved with them, looking to trip them up," Southgate is quoted by Sky Sports News as saying. "So we have to be a bit more secure around our team.

"We look very carefully about when we give players free time [in tournaments], how we control that. But the biggest thing is the commitment of the players to understand the guidelines, what is acceptable, what isn't."

The Football Association previously came under criticism when former captain Wayne Rooney was pictured drinking until late in the presence of FA employees.

Ben Stokes is in need of a hug from a thirsty Midlander after the World Twenty20 final between England and the West Indies at Eden Gardens on April 3, 2016
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