After yet another match winning display, Ben Stokes is now without a doubt the talisman of this young English cricket team.
Already a national hero in England following his 2019 World Cup heroics and record-breaking innings against Australia in last year’s Ashes series, Stokes is on course to surpass other English cricketing all-rounder legends Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff.
Stokes’ Record So Far
Following England’s test match victory over the West Indies, Ben Stokes surpassed Jason Holder and became the world’s top-ranked all-rounder.
With 4,399 test runs to his name and 156 test wickets, Stokes has already eclipsed Flintoff’s test runs total and is quickly closing in on his test wickets of 226. However, Stokes still has a long way to go if he wants to surpass Ian Botham’s test stats of 5,200 runs and 383 test wickets.
Although all three all-rounders have recorded Ashes success, neither Flintoff nor Botham have a World Cup victory to their name.
How Bad Press Inspired Ben Stokes
Following his involvement in a street brawl outside a nightclub, Stokes was suspended from the 2017-18 Ashes series. Later, he was acquitted of all charges. However, that did not stop a media barrage against him resulting in incredibly bad publicity. Ben Stokes actually lost his sponsorship deal with New Balance over the nightclub incident.
Despite this, Stokes later went on to state that the chain of events following the nightclub incident may have been the “best thing that could have happened” to him. Stokes stated that he did not want to be remembered as “the guy who had a fight in the street. I want to do things on the field to be remembered for. If we win the World Cup, that becomes the first paragraph… doesn’t it?”
The incident, which could have ended his career, led to Stokes changing his lifestyle completely. Ben Stokes no longer goes out for long nights and drinks. Evidently the change in lifestyle worked for Stokes. He has since become an inspiration to millions of cricket fans all over the world.
England’s Cricket World Cup Victory
Stokes was at the forefront of one of English cricket’s greatest ever achievements when they won the Cricket World Cup against New Zealand in 2019. Many knowledgeable commentators described the final as one of the greatest and most dramatic matches in the history of the sport. Ben Stokes scored 84* as England chased the New Zealand run total of 241.
In dramatic fashion, England posted the exact same total as New Zealand which meant that the final would be decided by a super over. Stokes scored 8 runs in a thrilling super over finale.
Although the teams were once again tied following the super over, England were declared victors due to having a superior boundary count in the match. Stokes was named Man of the Match and England won the World Cup for the first time in their history.
Great Ashes Moments, 2019 Sports Personality Of The Year and OBE
The third Ashes test match against Australia at Headingley Cricket Ground will go down in history as one of the greatest ever test matches. Plus, it allowed Ben Stokes to hit the headlines once again for all the right reasons.
England chased down a record 359 runs in order to win the test match and keep the Ashes series alive.
Ben Stokes scored a monumental 135* in an innings that will be long remembered in England and all around the world. This test came only a few months following England’s World Cup success with Ben Stokes being the hero of the moment once again. Although Australia went on to retain The Ashes, Ben Stokes had made amends for his past demeanours.
In December 2019, the British public voted Ben Stokes as the BBC Sports Personality of the year. As a result, he emulated both Botham and Flintoff, who had previously won the award. The Queen of England then honoured Ben Stokes with an OBE for his services to cricket.
Ben Stokes Already Leaving A Legacy
Following his achievements on the cricket field, Stokes, who is still only 29 years of age, has inspired millions of people. The test cricketer continues to give all for his national team and partakes in charity work for numerous charities including the NHS. Stokes’ success has also left rather unexpected legacies.
A spokesman from the UK slot site Labslots had this to say following the World Cup success in England: “Following the cricket world cup victory, our website had a huge increase in visitors searching for cricket related casino games. Although we already have a few on our site, there was an unprecedented increase in the search volume for these games. Clearly, Ben Stokes inspired people to play cricket, even if it was the online version of the game.” (Source: https://labslots.com/)
How Can Stokes Leave A Larger Legacy Than Botham And Flintoff?
As already mentioned, Stokes has won a World Cup which Beefy and Freddy were not able to achieve. In order to further add to his legacy, Stokes will need to be instrumental in continued Ashes successes against Australia. The last Ashes series saw an Australian side outclass their English counterparts on English soil.
Clearly, Stokes cannot win an Ashes series on his own. However, Ashes cricket is the pinnacle for any English cricketer. With just one Ashes success to his name so far in his career, this is where Ben Stokes can still improve.
Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images