Ben Stokes has spoken for the first time since England’s defeat in the World Twenty20 final, saying he felt “the whole world had come down on me”.
The England all-rounder had been charged with ensuring West Indies could not recover the 19 runs needed in the final over to take the T20 trophy. Instead he was hit for four consecutive sixes by Carlos Brathwaite and was taunted afterwards by the man of the match Marlon Samuels for bowling full tosses. “He doesn’t learn,” the batsman said.
Stokes recalled the moment vividly in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, saying: “I thought, ‘I’ve just lost the World Cup’. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to do. It took me so long to get back on my feet. I didn’t want to get back up. It was like the whole world had come down on me. There weren’t any good things going through my mind. It was just complete devastation,” he said.
“For about 40 minutes at the end of the game I knew I just had to deal with it. I had to come back out on the field, collect my medal and listen to all the speeches. I knew the cameras would be all over me to see how I was. Obviously I was gutted but I did not want to show that. I wanted to keep my head up.
Although his captain Eoin Morgan was quick to offer his support there were unwanted repercussions this week when Stokes’s mother Deborah, who lives in New Zealand, phoned the Radio Hauraki show to defend her son after the hosts criticised his performance. Her complaint was broadcast live on air without her permission. The two hosts were suspended.
Stokes recalled the denouement. “After the first six I thought ‘Oh God’ but I was backing myself. I had been in that type of situation for four weeks in all my training so it was not a case of holding anything back and thinking I hope I get this one in, because I knew I could do it,” he said.
“It was not until they needed one off three that I knew the game was gone. When they needed seven I was still backing myself to get us over the line but I just couldn’t. It was amazing hitting. I just did not execute what I wanted to do.”