On 14th July 2019, when England created history by winning their first ICC Cricket World Cup trophy, the all-rounder Ben Stokes played the most crucial role for his team. Recently, it has been revealed how Stokes calmed down his nerves during the break between the main game and Super Over.
It was the Super Sunday where the Lord’s (London) was hosting the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between England and New Zealand. As both teams had never won the CWC trophy before that tournament, it was a more special day for both the sides.
After winning the toss, New Zealand decided to bat first. The Blackcaps batsmen fought very hard and managed to set the first innings total of 241/8 (50 overs).
In reply, England were losing their wickets at regular intervals before Ben Stokes and wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler secured a solid 110 runs partnership for the fifth wicket. But after Buttler was dismissed on 59 runs, while England hadn’t much overs left, their lower-order batsmen struggled in the death overs. Stokes fought very hard till the end and secured the tied result along with the lower-order batsmen as England were all-out for 241 runs (50 overs). Stokes remained not out on 84 runs off 98 balls (5 fours and 2 sixes).
Ben Stokes lights up a cigarette and has few minutes on his own
As the match entered the Super Over, the teams got a little break before the beginning of the Super Over. During that tensed moment, Stokes reportedly smoked to make himself calm down. ‘Morgan’s Men: The Inside Story of England’s Rise from Cricket World Cup Humiliation to Glory’ – this newly released book has revealed that incident, which was written by Nick Hoult and Steve James.
According to stuff.co.nz, that book claimed, “Lord’s is a cacophony of noise. Music is blaring out of the public address system and the atmosphere is raw as the World Cup final comes down to a Super Over. Twelve balls will settle a seven-week tournament and decide the legacy of this England team.
“Finding a quiet spot as the frenzy of the Super Over approached was hard in a ground packed out with 27,000 supporters and television cameras following the players from the middle, through the Long Room and up the stairs to the dressing room.
“But Ben Stokes had played at Lord’s many times. He knows every nook and cranny. As Eoin Morgan tries to bring calm to the England dressing room and sort out their tactics, Stokes nips off for a moment of peace.
“He is covered in dirt and sweat. He has batted for two hours and 27 minutes of unbelievable tension. What does Stokes do? He goes to the back of the England dressing room, past the attendant’s little office and into the showers. There he lights up a cigarette and has few minutes on his own.”
In the Super Over, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler helped the England team to score 15/0. Then, while Jofra Archer was bowling for England in the Super Over, New Zealand batsmen (Jimmy Neesham and Martin Guptill) managed to score 15/1.
Despite another tied result in the Super Over, England won that match on the boundary countback rule and finally registered their name to the list of the Cricket World Cup winners. Undoubtedly, Stokes won the Player of the Match award in that historic game.