Cricket

Ben Stokes did the unthinkable to handle pressure ahead of the Super Over in 2019 World Cup Final

Ben Stokes in world cup final
Photo Source: Getty Images

Handling the pressure situation in a cricket match is no joke. One has to be mentally tough to cope up with all the frenzy going on, in the field. England all-rounder Ben Stokes had slipped out for a “cigarette break” in order to calm his nerves ahead of the Super Over during the last year’s thrilling World Cup final.

The anecdote has found a place in a new book on England’s victory. A year ago, England laid their hands on the World Cup trophy after beating New Zealand by virtue of a much-debated boundary count-back rule. The rule had to be used after even the Super Over scores were tied.

It’s has been a year now since England’s momentous victory and now a book called ‘Morgan’s Men: The Inside Story of England’s Rise from Cricket World Cup Humiliation to Glory’ has revealed the pressure that Stokes was feeling on that day at Lord’s.

Stokes sneaked off for a cigarette break

“Finding a quiet spot as the frenzy of the Super Over approached was hard in a ground packed out with 27,000 supporters and television cameras following the players from the middle, through the Long Room and up the stairs to the dressing room,” authors Nick Hoult and Steve James wrote and the excerpt has been published by stuff.co.nz.

“But Ben Stokes had played at Lord’s many times. He knows every nook and cranny. As Eoin Morgan tries to bring calm to the England dressing room and sort out their tactics, Stokes nips off for a moment of peace.

“He is covered in dirt and sweat. He has battled for two hours and 27 minutes of unbelievable tension. What does Stokes do? He goes to the back of the England dressing room, past the attendant’s little office, and into the showers. There he lights up a cigarette and has few minutes on his own.”

Quiet a way to handle the pressure! Isn’t it? Well, we can judge him now for what he did, but the idea seemed to work as he was adjudged the ‘Man of the Match’ for his unbeaten 84, plus eight runs in the Super Over, which played a crucial role in England’s triumph. It was after many years that the world witnessed a new World Cup champion.

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