Ben Stokes has drawn the line at suggestions of redemption but admitted his part in England’s World Cup win was made all the sweeter by the memory of his court battle two years ago.
Stokes was found not guilty of affray following a night out in Bristol in 2017 but was banned and fined by the England and Wales cricket Board after accepting a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.
Stokes, who was also stripped of the Test vice-captaincy and missed the Ashes tour, was the star of England’s dramatic last-gasp win over New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday.
Stokes told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “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.
“It was coming back from all of that, it was tough. Getting back into cricket obviously massively helped [me get] 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.
“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.”
Despite the ongoing celebrations in the wake of such a famous victory, Stokes insisted England must already start preparing for future challenges including the Ashes later this year.
“We’ve achieved half of what we wanted to do, which is winning the World Cup,” added Stokes.
“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.”
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Two days since arguably the greatest Cricket World Cup final of all time and the game is still being dissected.
England were declared winners even after the Super Over ended in a tie for having a superior boundary count. Needless to say, the decision has not been well received by many.
Congratulations to England!— Brett Lee (@BrettLee_58) July 14, 2019
Commiserations New Zealand.
I’ve got to say that it’s a horrible way to decide the winner. This rule has to change.
What other tie-breakers could have been used and which team would have come out on top? We visit a few options.
1. Super Over count-down
What if England and New Zealand had scored the same number of boundaries? As it turns out, in such a case, a Super Over count-down would have declared the winner. This means that the team that scored more runs on the last ball of their respective Super Over would have lifted the trophy. If the two teams scored the same number of runs, the scores on the fifth ball would be compared and so on.
Should this tie-breaker have been used ahead of the boundary rule, England would have still won. Jos Buttler scored a four off the last ball while Martin Guptill could manage just one run.
2. Runs off the bat
What if we subtract the extras from the teams’ totals and award the team that scored more runs off the bat? The Kiwis scored 211 runs off the bat, with England feeling very generous with the extras (30). The hosts scored 224 runs off the bat and would hence be champions if this tie-breaker was used.
3. Wickets lost
New Zealand (9) lost fewer wickets than England (10) in the 51 overs played and would have hence clinched the World Cup if this tie-breaker was used. But it’s worth noting that the team batting second is likely to lose more wickets, given they are chasing a set target.
Winners: New Zealand
4. Super Over sudden death
Successive Super Overs could have been played until we had a clear winner. This means that we would have a succession of Super Overs until one team came out on top, not dissimilar to sudden death of penalty shootouts in football. Theoretically it could go on forever, but practically we should have a winner by the end of the second or at least the third Super Over.
5. League standings
The first semi-final featuring India and New Zealand was played over two days due to rain playing a spoilsport on the first day and forcing the game to the reserve day. If the game was washed out on the reserve day, India would have qualified to the final by virtue of finishing higher up the table in the group stage.
If the same tie-breaker was used after England and New Zealand tied in the Super Over, the former would still be crowned champions. England finished in third place with 12 points while New Zealand finished a position below.
6. Head-to-head result
However, New Zealand had a game washed out and could theoretically have finished higher than England. With nothing to separate the two teams in the final, we take a look at what happened when the two teams met in the group stage. Since the game was part of the same tournament, it should make sense to use that as a tie-breaker to declare the champion. England (308/5) destroyed the Kiwis (186) at the Riverside Ground.
Andrew Strauss insists Eoin Morgan must continue as England’s one-day captain if he has the hunger to drive a period of sustained success.
Morgan presided over the nation’s maiden World Cup triumph following a dramatic victory over New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday.
The 32-year-old, however, is considering his future as skipper knowing he is unlikely to be playing when the next global showpiece arrives in 2023.
With the T20 World Cup taking place next year, former England captain Strauss believes Morgan’s influential role in shaping a golden era of one-day cricket entitles him to choose the timing of his departure.
“Eoin has earned the right to do it,” said Strauss. “The question for him is what he wants to achieve here because he has climbed Everest.
“That is the question for all the players because we have made mistakes in the past.
“We’ve won Ashes series and got to number one in the world and thought that was the end in itself. We have to find a way of making this a launchpad for something bigger.
“I certainly hope that what Eoin is doing right now – unless he is clear he wants to carry on – is just taking a bit of time to reflect where he is at.
“To stay on as captain he needs to be driven and motivated to push people on, as he has done over the last four years. If he has the bit between his teeth then we’ve seen just what a fantastic leader he is.
“The rest of the team will follow him until the last day he is on a cricket field, and he needs to decide when that is.”
Acting in the capacity of director of England cricket, it was Strauss’ decision to retain Morgan as captain in the wake of a dismal World Cup group exit in 2015.
In reward, Morgan has overseen a radical transformation, with England now a swashbuckling side that has swept all before them.
Lord’s will be turning red for day two of the second Ashes Test on August 15 in aid of the Ruth Strauss Foundation, the charity set up by Strauss after his wife died of lung cancer in December 2018.
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