Ben Stokes was declared as Joe Root’s replacement last week and will start his captaincy stint against New Zealand at Lord’s one month from now.
It marks perhaps the proudest point in the all-rounder’s excursion, during which he has delivered a few extraordinary exhibitions and got through a few significant difficulties.
He was captured following a late-night occurrence in Bristol in September 2017 and proceeded to miss an Ashes visit that winter prior to being cleared on a charge of affray, returning to rouse England’s World Cup win in 2019.
Ben Stokes Talks About How His Experiences Helped In His Growth
Asked how his encounters had altered him over the direction of his journey, Stokes said:
“There’s a lot of things that I’ve gone through since I became a professional cricketer, and those experiences I feel are positive in this new role that I’ve got. I’ve been through a lot of goods and have been through a lot of bads and I feel like I can relate to both sides of what this sporting life can throw at you.
“I hope that now because I’m England captain, I’m not seen as a different person to the people who I’ve played with. I feel as if I’ve always been someone who anybody can come and speak to.
“I see everything that I’ve gone through as a positive and you can relate to people if that is good or bad. I don’t see anything that I’ve gone through as a negative. If anything, I see it as a way that I can always try and help them.”
Will Make Sure Other People Feel Valued: Ben Stokes On His Leadership Agenda
Stokes’ qualifications as a dressing room leader have never been uncertain, yet as an all-action all-rounder, he faces a strong responsibility in putting on the captain’s jacket.
Sir Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff, the two players he has most often been compared to since he burst onto the scene, both were unable to measure up as captain yet Stokes isn’t worried about emulating their example.
“I’ve had to deal with comparisons to Andrew Flintoff and Sir Ian Botham since I was 18 or 19. And I’ve always said I’m not trying to be either of them, I’m just Ben Stokes,” he said.
“It’s naive and stupid to think that now, because I’m captain, my way is the only way and no-one else has a voice or an input. Because I feel that’s one thing that a leader needs to do. Always make sure that other people around them feel valued and have a voice.
“It’s one thing I did against West Indies at Southampton when I was captain I asked Jos (Buttler) a lot, especially about my personal use as a bowler. So I’ll be using that and not just thinking I can do everything.”
Have To Focus On The Present: Ben Stokes
England’s Test side has overseen only one triumph in their last 17 matches and Stokes concedes he faces a test to pivot results.
He added: “It’s obviously an exciting time for myself to be appointed as captain. It is a challenge, especially after the last few years. But for me it’s not about focusing on what’s gone in the past, it’s focusing on what we’ve got going forward. That starts now.”