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cricinfo
October 27, 2018

Stokes aims to reframe his reputation

Sports

C
cricinfo
October 27, 2018

COLOMBO: England all-rounder Ben Stokes hopes it is the future that will define how he is remembered, not his recent past.

Stokes has been in the news a great deal in recent months following a late-night fight in Bristol and the court case that followed it. As a result, he was not selected for the Ashes tour of 2017-18 and lost the England vice-captaincy.

Some of the headlines that he featured in during the trial made for grim reading both personally and for England cricket.

But, having been cleared of a charge of affray and made a successful return to the England side, he hopes it is his role on the pitch — and in particular during the World Cup and Ashes in 2019 — that people talk about in the future.

“Everything I do from here onwards is what people will hopefully remember,” he told the BBC in his first series of interviews since the trial. “It’s a big year coming up with two important things — a World Cup and an Ashes — and with them both being in England it’s really exciting.”

While Stokes still faces an ECB Cricket Discipline Commission hearing in early December — along with Alex Hales, he has been charged with bringing the game into disrepute — he insists that “there’s other things on my mind that take precedence over that”.

“I’m totally focused on cricket now,” he said. “We’ve such a big summer coming up. It’s all about looking forward.”

Stokes knows, however, that if it is to be his cricket that defines how he is remembered, the team will have to play much better than they managed in succumbing to a record defeat (in terms of runs) in the final One-Day International against Sri Lanka.

“It was a wake-up in that last game,” he told TalkSport. “The way Sri Lanka came out. I don’t recall the last time we were hit for 360 as a bowling unit or played so poorly with the bat. It was a big learning curve. “Hopefully we can right those wrings in training and in the T20 on Saturday.”

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