London, October 2: Mike Brearley hopes Ben Stokes' trial can serve as a warning to young cricketers about the dangers of becoming embroiled in off-field issues.
Stokes was found not guilty of affray following an incident outside a nightclub in Bristol last year, but the all-rounder missed the Ashes series and has now been charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) with bringing the game into disrepute.
Former England captain Brearley is keen that the Durham man does not see further punishment, but he does believe Stokes' situation can be used as an example in future.
"The ECB, rightly, I think, have to look at what went on from the point of view of what was detrimental to cricket," Brearley told Omnisport.
"I hope that they regard him as having largely paid the penalty - by not playing in the Ashes series, by being under scrutiny for virtually a year, by having to go through the trial. I hope that they don't come down too heavily on him.
"My own view is that Ben Stokes could be used to warn younger cricketers and schoolboys and adolescents and young adults of the dangers of drinking."
On Cricket, by Mike Brearley, is published by Constable in hardback on October 4.