Ben Stokes: Overcoming court case makes England Cricket win special
In his first major television interview since his historic World Cup win, cricketer Ben Stokes told Good Morning Britain that winning the World Cup still hasn't sunk in.
Ben Stokes has said overcoming his court troubles has made his World Cup win even sweeter.
The 28-year-old escaped prison when he was cleared of affray last August, following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub.
Speaking about his court case and the fact he could have been watching the final from a prison cell, he said: “It was coming back from all of that, it was tough. Getting back into cricket obviously massively helped [me get] straight after that. It was a stressful time for me, my wife, my family back home."
Stokes lost his England vice-captaincy and a place on an Ashes tour after footage of the fight, which left two men unconscious, was published by a newspaper website in the aftermath of his arrest.
The judge later declared the England cricket star had acted in self-defence, and he was reinstated to the England squad.
Reflecting on losing his place on the England squad amid his court battle, Ben said: "[Andrew] Strassy was obviously the main man there at the time, at the ECB and had to make all the decisions. He did a great job supporting me, Claire and everyone through that, although he had to do the right thing by the ECB as well. He’s a really, really good man, Straussy, I have a lot of respect for him.
"I had amazing people around me, my teammates, friends, family. They have to take a lot of credit for helping me to get through that. To be here now, where I am, it’s amazing to say that I’ve probably got through the hardest moment of my life but I didn’t do it by myself."
On Sunday, he was declared a sporting hero by many after participating in a Super Over which saw England come out victorious over New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup, making it England's first-ever World Cup win.
Now, Ben admits the recent struggles had made his World Cup victory even sweeter.
“I got emotional there, at the end, and that was probably a culmination of lots of things," he explains.
"Happiness that we won it and subconsciously thinking and remembering back to what I went through. Moments like that are very special. It’s something I desperately wanted to do this summer, lift that World Cup. It’s quite heavy, I didn’t realise how heavy it was but it was an amazing feeling.”
Asked about ‘redemption’ following the court case, he added: “I won’t look back and say I redeemed myself or anything like that, I’m an athlete and a cricketer and it’s what we are paid to do, to win trophies.”
For now, Stokes is waiting for his England victory to sink in.
Speaking to Susanna Reid and super-fan Piers Morgan, he confessed: “I’m not sure it’s all sunk in yet, we’ve had quite a lot of things to do, we’ve had Downing Street, we had to head down to The Oval the day after the game, so I’m not sure everything has sunk in yet.”