Ben Stokes hits back at Australian media over ‘lucky to witness’ comment

Jul 4, 2024

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Ben Stokes has responded to Australian media criticism regarding his remark about fans being “lucky to witness” his England team play during the Ashes 2023 series. This comment, made in the dressing room after the rain-marred fourth Test at Old Trafford ended in a draw, was captured in the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)‘s recently released docu-series, “Ashes 2023 | Our Take.”

Motivational speech after fourth test

In the docu-series, Stokes was seen trying to motivate his team following the end of the fourth Test. He declared that his team would “live forever in the memory” of those “lucky enough” to see them play and emphasized that their new style of play was “a lot bigger” than the trophy.

“Everything we’ve done up until now isn’t going to stop because we haven’t managed to win the urn back. The reward for our work isn’t what we get but what we become. And what we have managed to do is we’ve managed to become a sports team that will live forever in the memory of people who were lucky enough to witness us play cricket,” Stokes was quoted as saying by the cricket.com.au.

“I know it’s going to be a bit flat, I know it’s going to hurt that we go into the next game (at The Oval) not being able to get the urn back. But what we have done is something a lot bigger than any Ashes trophy could ever signify for this team – be the team that everybody will always remember,” Stokes concluded.

Despite trailing 1-2 in the series, England had dominated the match with a 275-run first-innings lead. However, rain thwarted their victory as Australia held on at 214/5, retaining the Ashes and keeping the series at 2-1 in Australia’s favor. This result meant England couldn’t win the series even if they won the fifth Test.

Also READ: Rob Key reveals James Anderson’s new role for England post-retirement

Series outcome and ‘Bazball’ style

Despite this setback, England won the fifth Test, and the series ended at 2-2. Although Stokes and Brendon McCullum‘s ultra-aggressive and entertainment-focused style, termed ‘Bazball,’ earned plaudits for its bravery, it couldn’t alter England’s eight-year-long winless Ashes streak.

Australian media misinterpretation and Ben Stokes’s response

While some platforms reported the quote with context, Fox Cricket’s official handle was clearly unimpressed with Stokes’ comments, as reflected in their sarcastic caption accompanying the story. They highlighted it in a social media post, pointing out that England had won just four out of 11 Tests since 2023.

In response, Stokes firmly retorted, explaining that his intention was to boost his team’s morale after not winning the game, even though they had full control over Australia for two days before the rain disrupted play.

“Said this to the team who had watched it rain for 2 days when we had our foot on your throats, just tried to cheer up the disappointment tbh (to be honest), but anyways rent free and all that .”

Said this to the team who had watched it rain for 2 days when we had our foot on your throats, just tried to cheer up the disappointment tbh,but anyways rent free and all that 🫡 https://t.co/ULRZ4WITOq

— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) July 3, 2024

Also READ: Uncapped duo earn call-ups as England announces squad for first two Tests against West Indies

For latest cricket news & updates, visit CricketTimes.com.

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