Watch: Riyan Parag reveals how he learnt biggest lessons from Ben Stokes on coping with criticism

Published - 03 Jun 2024, 03:25 PM | Updated - 03 Jun 2024, 03:37 PM

Riyan Parag and Ben Stokes
Riyan Parag and Ben Stokes. Image Credit: BCCI-IPL/Instagram

Indian cricketer Riyan Parag shared a heartfelt anecdote about his former Rajasthan Royals (RR) teammate and England’s Test captain, Ben Stokes. Parag said that he learned the biggest lesson from Stokes as he shed light on the resilience and mental fortitude required to thrive in the game.

In a candid conversation on The Ranveer Show Podcast, the Royals star recalled a tough match where Stokes was struggling, facing a barrage of sixes and eventually getting out. He found himself the target of boos and abuse from the crowd.

Riyan Parag learned the biggest lesson from Ben Stokes’ approach to criticism

After the game, Parag approached Stokes on the team bus, offering support and empathy, and asked how he was coping with such a tough situation. Parag revealed an intimate moment when Stokes, in a moment of distress and weakness, shared a touching insight into his coping mechanism.

The star England all-rounder showed the Indian player texts from his wife, mother, father, and close friend, all offering unwavering support and love. Stokes emphasized that these four individuals were the only opinions that truly mattered to him, regardless of his performance on the field.

Parag was deeply moved by Stokes' revelation, as having a strong support system amidst the pressures of professional cricket is just wonderful. He also got his lesson through his interaction with the England all-rounder.

The young cricketer stressed that he has the unwavering support of his loved ones, irrespective of his performance, and this newfound perspective allowed him to approach his game with a sense of freedom and authenticity.

Riyan Parag reveals an interesting story about Ben Stokes’ strategy to cope with criticism

Riyan Parag said on The Ranveer Show Podcast: “Stokesy (Ben Stokes) got hammered one game, and people are booing him, people are abusing him. So, I went to him, I sat next to him in the team bus, I'm like, how are you feeling? How are you dealing with this? He opened his WhatsApp, he showed me texts from his wife, from his mother, from his dad, and from one of his close friends. He said, four texts after the game, and that's all I want.

He said, these four people are the ones who can have opinions about me, and regardless of how I play, they're going to tell me they love me. And I was like, okay, that's nice. Because once you have that assurity of those people being there for you regardless of anything, you just go out there and express yourself. You don't have expectations of what other people are going to say. So then after the game, regardless if I score a zero, regardless if I score a hundred, I have those people. And I think that was the biggest lesson for me.”

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Notably, Parag played with a lot of freedom and confidence in the IPL 2024 and finished the season as the third-highest run-scorer after Virat Kohli (741) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (583). He amassed 573 runs at an impressive average of 52 and a strike rate of 149 for the Royals this season.

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Ben Stokes Riyan Parag Rajasthan Royals (RR) IPL