Former England director of cricket Andrew Strauss has heralded all-rounder Ben Stokes’ ability to rise above the negativity associated with 2017’s brawl outside a nightclub in Bristol.
Stokes was suspended, fined and later acquitted of affray after the incident. Subsequently, he claimed the Player of the Match accolade in Sunday’s World Cup final triumph over New Zealand at Lord’s in London.
‘I remember going down to the police station. I spent a long time with Clare, his wife, waiting for him to come out of the jail,’ said Strauss.
‘And what struck me as soon as he came out was actually his character, because he stood up and said: “I’ve got this horribly wrong – I apologise sincerely for what I’ve done here.”
‘From that moment on, I thought this was going to be a good thing for him. It was very hard to know which way it was going to go. People can go two ways after something like that happens to them. Anyone who knows Ben, or who has played with him, knows what an incredible person he is to have on your team.
‘I think what we’ve seen is some of those rough edges just smoothed a little bit over the last 12 or 18 months, without him losing that incredible desire, and hunger to win, and that competitive streak.’
Stokes struck an unbeaten half-century during the final’s regulation play, which was tied, and collected the bulk of England’s runs during the Super Over, which also ended in a deadlock. England were awarded the title on the back of a superior boundary count.
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