England’s marquee all-rounder Ben Stokes had found himself moving towards obscurity after an alleged brawl-incident had caused the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) suspend his cricketing endeavours for a while. However, with the charges done and dusted and ECB having given him the nod, the 26-year-old match-winner is back in national colours. Stokes made it to the England ODI squad against New Zealand, and even gave valuable performances to win the 2nd ODI by six wickets, tying the 5-match series 1-1.
After having returned to cricket action following a row of months which spelled uncertainty and suspension, Ben Stokes said that he got “quite emotional” after England’s victory in the 2nd ODI against New Zealand. As reported by Stuff.co.nz, Ben Stokes said,
“It was very satisfying for me. I was quite emotional walking off there at the end,” Stokes said.
“Even walking on the field the first time [in game one in Hamilton last Sunday] and walking off tonight made me understand how much a privilege it is to represent your country. It was a different feeling to what it is normally but it was a great feeling to be walking off there.”
The legal proceedings against Ben Stokes, which had initiated following the brawl-incident in Bristol City in September of 2017, are still ongoing. The New Zealand-born was charged for ‘affray’ by the Crown Prosecution Services and had pleaded ‘not guilty’. He said,
“I’ve been working hard at home making sure that when the opportunity came again to represent England I wasn’t going to let anyone down.”
“When I got the nod I wanted to expect to be asked to participate fully rather than be eased back into the team. I wouldn’t expect anything less of myself and I don’t think Morgy [ODI captain Eoin Morgan] would expect anything less of me either.”
In the 2nd ODI against New Zealand on Wednesday (28 February), Ben Stokes scored an unbeaten 63, took two wickets, and even featured in two run-outs as England holistically outplayed the Kiwis. Speaking about how it felt to return to full-fledged cricket action, Stokes said,
“It was a great feeling to be walking off the field there at the end not out especially after a really commanding performance from the team. We obviously set the tone really well with the ball and the big difference tonight was the fielding.”
“There was relief, happiness and obviously it’s been a long time. Hopefully now this is a stepping stone on the road to trying to keep on helping England win games. We’ve got a massive summer ahead and the World Cup coming up after that as well so hopefully this is just the start of it.”