Redemption is ‘not a word I’ll ever use’: Ben Stokes on World Cup final glory
Ben Stokes has said that redemption “is not a word I’ll ever use”, in the wake of his starring role in England’s triumph in the World Cup final against New Zealand on Sunday.
Stokes was named Player of the Match in the final at Lord’s, after guiding England’s run-chase with an unbeaten 84 from 98 balls, as well as adding a crucial 8 from 3 in the decisive Super Over.
But speaking to BBC Sport, Stokes said that he did not view the events of Sunday as his public redemption, following his high-profile court case and subsequent acquittal following a fight outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2017.
“That’s not a word I’ll ever use,” he said. “I’m an athlete, a cricketer, and it’s what we are paid to do, win trophies.”
However, speaking to Good Morning Britain, Stokes went into greater detail on the events of that tumultuous final, saying that his initial reaction on levelling the scores in the 50th over was “anger” at not getting the job done, before suggesting that Jason Roy ought to be Jos Buttler’s partner for the crucial Super Over.
After rescuing England’s innings in partnership with Buttler, Stokes was left needing two runs to win the match in normal time off the final ball of the 50th over, bowled by Trent Boult.
Despite being served up a knee-high full-toss, Stokes chose to play a measured shot along the ground, mindful of what had happened to Bangladesh against India in similar circumstances in the World T20 three years ago, when a succession of batsmen had taken the aerial route. Though he pushed hard to come back for the second, his partner Mark Wood was run out, leaving the scores tied.
“I was annoyed at myself, I was angry, I thought I’d thrown it away,” Stokes said. “But when I went upstairs I had to give myself five minutes because Morgs [Eoin Morgan] wanted me to go back out and do the Super Over.
“I said that we should send Jos [Buttler] and Jason [Roy] out but Morgs said we need a left [-hander] and right because it’s a small boundary.
“I had to go out the back into the shower room and give myself five minutes. I never want to be involved in one ever again.”