Ben Stokes had a great 2019. Not only did he lead England to their maiden World Cup triumph at the iconic Lords' Cricket Ground earlier this year but had also anchored the run chase in Ashes 2019 and led them to a famous win at Leeds with an unbeaten century in what was a must-win game for the hosts. However, it was that World Cup win that really mattered the most.
Ben Stokes had an outstanding World Cup 2019. After all, who can forget that absolute blinder out of nowhere to get rid of South Africa's Andile Phehlukwayo in the curtain-raiser? He had also shone with both bat and the ball throughout the tournament especially in a crucial match against India. But, it seems that Stokes had saved his best for the last.
That unbeaten knock of 84 was very important for the English all-rounder. He was at the receiving end in the final of the ICC World T20 2016 which was played at the iconic Eden Gardens against the West Indies. Just when it appeared that England were in the driver's seat with 19 needed off the last over, Carlos Braithwaite had smashed him for four straight sixes as the English side snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Stokes then had to fight his personal demons as well when he was arrested for his involvement in a street brawl near a nightclub and at one instance, it appeared that his comeback would be very difficult.
Fast forward to July 14, 2019. Ben Stokes had come out to bat when England were reeling at 71/3 and then 86/4 after skipper Eoin Morgan's dismissal. He and Jos Buttler added 110 runs for the fifth wicket stand before the latter was dismissed and wickets continued to tumble from the other end. However, Stokes held his nerves and continued anchor the run chase single-handedly. The southpaw also had a fair share of luck after Martin Guptill's throw had deflected off his bat and raced to the boundary as Kumar Dharmasena had signaled it as six. In the end, his presence ensured that the match ended in a tie and a winner was to be determined by a super over. He had also batted in the super over as England posted 15 runs. Even the super over was tied after Guptill's run out but England were crowned world champions based on the boundary count rule.
Just like the end of the 2016 World T20, Ben Stokes was once again in tears but the only difference was that this time, they were tears of joy after the English side had got fourth time lucky and won their maiden world title.
'' I feel lost of words, to be honest. All the hard work that has gone in these four years to get the team where we are today. This is what we had aspired to be and having managed to come here and do it and to do it with such a good game and I don't think there will be a better game in the cricket history then that'', said a teary-eyed Ben Stokes at the post-match presentation ceremony.