Stokes plays down redemption talk after World Cup heroics - GulfToday

Stokes plays down redemption talk after World Cup heroics

Ben Stokes

Despite England’s euphoric celebrations following the team’s World Cup win, Ben Stokes insists they must start preparing in right earnest for the Ashes Test series beginning in August.

Ben Stokes admitted memories of the off-field incident that threatened his career triggered his tears after England’s historic World Cup triumph.

Stokes was found not guilty of affray following a street brawl during a night out in Bristol in 2017. The all-rounder was banned and fined by the England and Wales Cricket Board after accepting a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.

Stokes was also stripped of the Test vice-captaincy and missed the Ashes tour, but he worked his way back from that chastening incident to enjoy a key role in England’s first ever World Cup title.

After some impressive displays on the road to the final, Stokes cemented his place as an English cricket icon by scoring 84 not out and then starring in the Super Over that sealed Sunday’s thrilling final win over New Zealand at Lord’s.

“I won’t look back and say I redeemed myself or anything like that - I’m an athlete and a cricketer and it’s what we are paid to do, to win trophies,” Stokes told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Wednesday.

“It was coming back from all of that, it was tough. Getting back into cricket obviously massively helped straight after that.

“It was a stressful time for me, my wife, my family back home. I had amazing people around me, my team-mates, friends, family.

“They have to take a lot of credit for helping me to get through that.”

Stokes wept tears of joy on the Lord’s pitch immediately after England won the World Cup and he revealed thoughts of his past had come flooding back.

“I got emotional there, at the end, and that was probably a culmination of lots of things, happiness that we won it and subconsciously thinking and remembering back to what I went through,” he said.

Despite the team’s euphoric celebrations following England’s World Cup victory, Stokes insisted the team must start preparing for the Ashes Test series against old rivals Australia in August.

“We’ve achieved half of what we wanted to do, which is winning the World Cup,” Stokes said.

“Everyone who is involved in the Test team as well as the one-day team has sort of had to get their heads around the fact that we have an Ashes series coming up and we still have a serious amount of work to do.”

Meanwhile, amid the furore over umpires call to give an extra run when a throw struck Stokes’ bat in the World Cup final, it has now come to light that the all-rounder had asked the umpires to take away the four overthrows which ultimately proved to be decisive in England’s win over New Zealand.

During the final over in England’s chase of 241 on Sunday at Lord’s, Stokes accidentally knocked the ball coming in from deep midwicket fielder and deflected it off to the third man boundary, while attempting to dive for his crease with an outstretched bat in a bid to complete his second run.

After consultation with Marais Erasmus and the rest of his umpiring colleagues, Kumar Dharmasena signalled six runs for the incident, meaning that England –– who by then seemed to be drifting out of contention needing nine runs from three balls –– were suddenly right back in the hunt for their World Cup glory needing three more from two.

James Anderson, Stokes’ Test team-mate, has revealed that the all-rounder, who was hugely apologetic the moment the incident happened, had appealed to the umpires to overturn their decision.

“The etiquette in cricket is if the ball is thrown at the stumps and it hits you and goes into a gap in the field you don’t run,” Sydney Morning Herald quoted Anderson as telling BBC’s Tailenders podcast.

“But if it goes to the boundary, in the rules it’s four and you can’t do anything about it.

“I think, talking to Michael Vaughan who saw him after the game, Ben Stokes actually went to the umpires and said, ‘Can you take that four runs off. We don’t want it’.

“But it’s in the rules and that’s the way it is,” he added.

Former Australian umpire Simon Taufel has described the costly ruling in the World Cup final as a “clear mistake”.

“They (England) should have been awarded five runs, not six,” Taufel said.

“It’s a clear mistake and it’s an error of judgment,” he added.

Agencies

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