Ben Stokes has been reflecting on the two days which defined his cricketing year, after the England all-rounder took home the 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
Stokes overcame competition from Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and world 200m gold medallist Dina Asher-Smith to take home the coveted award, after playing a man-of-the-match role in England’s World Cup Final victory – and producing one of the greatest Test innings of all time to haul his side to victory in the third Ashes Test at Headingley.
“For it to go down to the wire like that – it was amazing to be involved in,” recalled Stokes of England’s triumph over New Zealand, in which he scored 84 before hitting eight runs in the super-over.
“You don’t have a tactic to be involved in super overs, you’ve got ten minutes to think about what you’re going to do.
“It’s one of the greatest days I’ve ever had on a cricket field.”
Six weeks later, Stokes would defy the odds and a bloodthirsty Australian attack to carry England to a one-wicket win at Headingley.
The left-hander’s unbeaten 135 was hailed by many observers as amongst the greatest Test innings of all time – but Stokes admitted it didn’t come without its nervous moments.
“I only really got nervous when we needed single figures to win,” he said.
“Obviously, I believed we could do it, and I had full faith that Leachy [Jack Leach] could hang around and we could get these runs, but to go from thinking that to knowing ‘we could actually win this from here’ got me a little bit nervous.
“Loads of thoughts were going through my mind, but once we hit the winning runs, you could see how much it meant to me and the team.”
Stokes’ summer in numbers
465 World Cup runs at 66.42
5 World Cup fifties
441 Ashes runs at 55.12
2 Ashes hundreds
2 Ashes fifties
13 Ashes sixes hit
England, the reigning World Champions and winners of the BBC Team of the Year award, will return to Trent Bridge to take on Ireland on Thursday 10 September. Secure your seats here...
Meanwhile, Test cricket returns to Trent Bridge in August 2020, with Pakistan taking on England from 20-24 August. Secure your seats here...