The ongoing coronavirus crisis in the United Kingdom (UK) prompted England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to postpone their entire 2020 international and domestic home season. Their now-postponed home summer would have seenn the inaugural edition of The Hundred, before the 100-ball tournament got shifted to next year by the ECB. With talks of staging cricket behind closed doors circulating among media amidst the UK lockdown, England all-rounder Ben Stokes recently gave his take on the matter.
England cricketer Ben Stokes believes that the competitive nature of the game will not be lost even if cricket is organised in empty stadiums. While speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Stokes said he would not mind if cricket becomes a TV sport until the coronavirus UK situation is brought under control. He added that while taking field to “represent our country”, the England players only think about playing for a win. He later implied that it does not matter whether they are playing in capacity crowds or in front of an empty stadium.
However, Ben Stokes admitted that it will take at least some time for the players to adjust to the setting since they have been accustomed to cheers from the crowds. The 28-year-old also emphasised on the importance of everybody’s safety amid the coronavirus UK crisis and UK lockdown situation by saying that he is still not 100 percent sure of what stance ECB is going to take.
The 2019 World Cup hero completed a half marathon on Tuesday, May 5 to raise funds for charity and hospitals battling the coronavirus crisis. On Instagram, Stokes said his marathon was inspired by three men who called themselves the 'Cricket Garden Marathon Team', who ran full marathons in their backyards, to raise funds for Britain's National Health Services (NHS) and for the Chance To Shine Foundation.
Ben Stokes was slated to reprise his role for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL 2020) season, before the tournament got postponed indefinitely by the Indian cricket officials. During the IPL 2020 trading and transfer window, the cricketer was retained by the franchise for US$1.6 million (₹12.5 crore). The Indian T20 event was initially scheduled to launch on March 29.