After missing out five months from international cricket, English all-rounder Ben Stokes recently made a comeback through the five-match ODI series on the New Zealand soil. In the second ODI of the series, Stokes provided all-round performances and secured an important victory to level the series.
After taking two wickets and involving in two run-outs, Stokes played an unbeaten match-winning knock of 63 runs. As a result, he was selected for the Player of the Match award where England won by 6 wickets.
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After winning the match, Stokes was very emotional as he 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. I was quite emotional walking off there at the end. Even walking on the field the first time 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.”
Since the last September, Stokes had not represented the England side for the next five months due to a charge of affray over a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub. He was arrested for that incident, while he has recently pleaded not guilty in the Bristol Magistrates’ Court.
Without his services, England had lost the Ashes series by 4-0 on the Australian soil while they had won the five-match ODI series against the hosts Australia by the 1-4 margin. Later, England had failed to qualify for the final of the T20I tri-series, where Australia and New Zealand had also participated. Initially, Stokes was included in the national squad for all of those series but failed to able to play for his national side.
Stokes received the green signal for the national team after his pleading. The first hearing date of his trial will take place at the crown court at Bristol on 12th March. However, the all-rounder is not required to attend that hearing. So, he does not need to return the UK quickly.
Talking about his missing the Ashes series, Stokes said, “It was obviously frustrating to watch the Ashes. I went through all the emotions as I would have done playing, but there’s not a lot I can change about that now. When that opportunity came back round to represent England again I wasn’t prepared to let anybody down.”
Stokes further added, “All the training and hard work that went into that time spent at home paid off today. 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 would expect anything less of me either.”
Stoke is now looking forward to quoting, “I hope 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 I hope this is just the start of it. I want to contribute every time I play for England.”