Being Ben Stokes is not easy but all those who watched his fight to bring the 'Cup' home on Sunday should try to emulate him, skipper Eoin Morgan said after a historic final. From hitting nadir to reaching the zenith, no cricketer in recent times would have gone through an entire gamut of emotions like Stokes.
"The atmosphere, the emotion that was going through the whole game, he managed to deal with that in an extremely experienced manner. And obviously, everybody watching at home will hopefully try and be the next Ben Stokes," Morgan couldn't have paid a bigger compliment to the Man of the Final.
He was on his hunches when Carlos Brathwaite hit him for those sixes under a smoky Calcutta skyline during a World T20 final three summers back. His career could have ended that day and Morgan couldn't agree more.
"Yes, and I have said that a number of times about Ben. I think a lot of careers would have been ended after what happened in Calcutta," Morgan reiterated.
Funnily ironical but all of England's premier all-rounders over the years have had colourful lives bordering on controversy. Whether it is Ian Botham smoking cannabis or an inebriated Andrew Flintoff hitting the sea and trying to paddle a boat, they have never been the establishment's favourite child. Stokes is no exception as he was found doing a Rocky Balboa in front of a Bristol pub a couple of years ago. He floored a few with perfect right hooks and then stood in the courtroom in front of the judge.
Another premature ending loomed but the 'Big Ben' is destiny's child. And then Lord's happened -- a World Cup final and he did everything.
"To come through it is extraordinary. He's (Stokes) is almost superhuman. He has really carried the team and our batting line-up, I know Jos and his partnership was extraordinary, but to bat with the lower order the way he did I thought was incredible," Morgan was beaming for once while showing a dour face during other times.
Tired, sweaty and exhausted after a tie, he came out again, ran a three, hit a six, got a score for Super Over. And just when one thought he has done everything, he reminded young Jofra Archer: "One over won't define who you are". That was enough to bowl one good ball that ensured a World Cup win. From Sunday, the legend of Stokes will only grow.
And Morgan attributed it to the all-rounder's qualities as a team-man.
"Ben, on numerous occasions, has stood up individually and in a unit for us. He leads the way in training, in any team meetings we have, and he's an incredible cricketer. And today he's had a huge day out and obviously we are thankful for that," said 'Captain' Morgan, ready to raise a toast for his asset