Ben Stokes reveals the toughest bowler he faced, favourite IPL 2020 player and a lot more
Stokes is currently in the UAE featuring in the IPL 2020.
Updated - Oct 29, 2020 5:07 pm
England all-rounder Ben Stokes is currently in the UAE featuring in the Indian Premier League (IPL) playing for the Rajasthan Royals. After struggling to time the ball, he struck form at the right time for the team scoring a scintillating century against the four-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI). Stokes, a Red Bull athlete, answered a lot of questions in an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session and revealed his favourite IPL 2020 player, toughest bowler he has faced among many other secrets.
Here’s the Q&A session:
- What’s your earliest memory of playing cricket
My earliest memory of playing cricket would be in my back garden in New Zealand. Anybody who came around would unfortunately have to throw the tennis ball to me for hours [while I was batting]. That’s probably why we didn’t have too many visitors.
- Your fav innings that you’ve played till date
My favourite innings till date was when I got a hundred at Lord’s during an Ashes Test match. It had been a while since I had got one for England and I remember the happiness that it gave me. I had started thinking about the fact that I hadn’t got a hundred in a long time, so when I eventually got that one after two or three years, I was very happy.
- What was going through your mind when you scored 100
Not a lot to be honest. I just wanted to make sure that I was there till the end and able to give the team the best opportunity of winning. I was looking at the scoreboard pretty much every over to see where the game is at and kept on trying to think towards the last two-three overs, kept a target in mind so we could make it a run-a-ball or maybe seven runs an over in the end.
- How do you train before a match
My preparation is always done two days before and the day before a match. I do everything that I normally do to get myself in the right mindset. If I don’t feel like I’ve had everything that I normally do and need for a match, then I make sure that I stay back and get it, because that’s part of my preparation the day before the game.
- If not cricket, what profession would you have chosen
I was about 14 or 15 when I decided I wanted to try and make it as a professional cricketer. At the same time I was playing rugby as well. So I’d like to say [if I wasn’t a cricketer] I would be a professional rugby player.
- How was your experience playing the virtual race in the summer
It was a great experience. It was very nerve-wracking to be honest. I put a lot of hours into practice but when I got into the actual moment of being on Sky Sports and being recorded doing it, it was a very scary experience. But I had another go at it and the second time around was a lot easier. But in all, I absolutely loved it.
- Which player have you enjoyed watching the most this season?
My favourite is definitely Rahul Tewatia. I think he has burst onto the scene this year as a T20 cricketer. And I think he is showing people who he is; if I’m being perfectly honest, I thought he was just a leg spinner, but he is showing us what he can do with the bat.
He has been phenomenal for us and he’s got something about him. He’s a real competitor. He gets really fired up for the big occasions and wants to be a part of them. So I’ve really enjoyed watching him go about his business.
- Which stadium has been your all time fav?
My favourite is Trent Bridge
- Who’s the toughest bowler and batsman you’ve faced
In 2013 in Australia, I had said at the time that Peter Siddle [was the toughest bowler I had faced]. I found him incredibly hard work.
- Who’s someone you look up to who’s not a cricketer?
Tiger Woods. He’s had a phenomenal career and he went through a rough patch with injury and not performing to the levels that we were used to seeing of him. He could have just called it a day left the sport as the all-time great. But he didn’t want to and carried on working and working and working.
I’ll never forget that picture of him walking down the 18th fairway to go on to win that tournament (2018 Tour Championship). I have the utmost respect for that man for what he went through especially since he could have gave up and still went down as the greatest in the sport. But he kept on piling through and I have so much respect for him for that.
- Best advice you’ve gotten
I’ve received quite a lot of good advice from a lot of good people. I think the best advice is something that I say to myself, which is that the only opinions that matter should be of the people who have an influence on your career, and people who are close to you like friends and family. Any outside noise is irrelevant.
- Have you thought of your next tattoo idea?
I haven’t quite yet but I’m sure if I get bored at any stage, I’ll probably get another one done.
- Dream player you’d want on your squad
There are a few. AB de Villiers.
- Who is your cricketing idol?
I never really had one growing up. I just watched cricket because I enjoyed the sport. But my favourite player to watch when I was younger was Herschel Gibbs. He was an awesome fielder and when he was in the South African team, he was one of the few players who really took the game on in a different way; he really attacked bowlers sort of when that wasn’t the way at the time. I really enjoyed watching him go about his business and he was a fantastic player to watch in the field.
- Do you prefer facing spin or seam bowlers? And why?
Depends where we are. If we are in the subcontinent then I’ll take a seam bowler but if we are in England then I’ll take a spinner because obviously, different conditions.
- Which is your favourite batting shot?
I’ve got two. Straight drive and pull shot are my favourites.