Graeme Swann initially supported Ben Stokes' actions in a bar brawl, but did a U-turn after social media criticism.
Graeme Swann initially supported Ben Stokes' actions in a bar brawl, but did a U-turn after social media criticism. Anthony Devlin

Swann turns off his Stokes' support

ENGLAND great Graeme Swann has been forced to clarify extraordinary comments that appeared to infer Ben Stokes should be congratulated for his alleged actions in a brutal bar fight.

Swann took to Twitter on Thursday to defend Stokes and claim that if the troubled all-rounder was your son "you'd pat him on the head” after watching the disturbing video footage that allegedly shows him dropping a 27-year-old man to the concrete with a clean right hook outside a Bristol nightclub.

The champion spinner and now respected BBC commentator said the man who was taken to hospital with facial injuries got "his just desserts” for trying to "bottle” Stokes.

There appears to be evidence to support claims that Stokes was provoked by a man brandishing a bottle, however, Swann came under fire on social media for praising the subsequent alleged actions of his former teammate, which on video footage came across as highly distressing.

Footage published by The Sun appears to show a man holding his hands up in surrender, while a man alleged to be Stokes continues to rain down haymakers.

"The video shows a dickhead trying to bottle (Ben Stokes) and getting his just desserts in my opinion...,” tweeted Swann.

"... If (Stokes) we're (sic) your son you'd pat him on the head after seeing that video. End the nonsense and let's concentrate on the Ashes.”

However, after some fierce backlash on social media, Swann two hours later followed up his initial two tweets with a toned down assessment of the incident.

"For the record I don't condone the England players being out on the gas at 2.30am or any violence. World would be a better place without it.”

The ECB overnight suspended Stokes and his teammate Alex Hales indefinitely.

Bristol police also reportedly called Stokes back in for further questioning over the matter after originally arresting him on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

The footage has been widely condemned by cricket commentators, with former state wicketkeeper and coach Darren Berry saying the video brought back sad memories from the night David Hookes was killed by a punch outside a Melbourne bar.