Ben Stokes backed to recover from West Indies final over heartache


excerpt from Nick Hoults article in The Telegraph 5th April 2016

Alastair Cook, the England Test captain, said he had never felt as much sympathy for aengland_players_west_indies_t20-large_trans++qVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8 bowler as he did for Stokes after Sunday’s final, while friends of the all-rounder believe the ups and downs he has already experienced will help him cope with this disappointment. Stokes has been toughened by being sent home in disgrace from an A-team tour for excessive drinking and the embarrassment of missing the last World Twenty20 after fracturing a hand punching a locker following a string of ducks.

He was left out of last year’s 50-over World Cup in Australia but bounced back by

smashing the fastest ever Test hundred at Lord’s in his next match for England.

It will be natural for Stokes to replay in his mind whether he should have bowled a different delivery or changed his pace rather than stuck to his leg-stump yorker line to Brathwaite.

When Chris Jordan bowled the penultimate over he took his time before every delivery to gather his thoughts and emotions. Stokes was quickly into his delivery stride and relied on the yorker that had served him well in previous games, a sign of high stress according to Steven Sylvester, a former county cricketer but now a leading sports psychologist who has worked with England players including Moeen Ali.

“After the first one went for six and then you get hit for another six like that in the context of a World Cup final your emotions are raging and that influences your rhythm,” he told  Telegraph Sport. “Unfortunately, it is very hard then to keep calm in that situation. In fact, it is impossible. But what you have to do is embrace that feeling and maybe slow things down. One of the signs of stress is that you just keep going and going.”

Would it help Stokes if he embraces playing his part in such a memorable moment? ThatUntitled-2-large_trans++2oUEflmHZZHjcYuvN_Gr-bVmXC2g6irFbtWDjolSHWgwas the view of David Lloyd, the commentator, in the immediate aftermath of the match, and Sylvester agrees.

“I would be saying to Stokes there is no shame in being part of someone doing something
special and impressing upon him he was part of something unbelievable.

“I do a lot of work in football and I have had three managers ring me today and say it was unbelievable. It captivated the sporting world, it will inspire young kids to take up the game.

“We tend not to have perspective because we want England to win and it is hard and painful but the only option is to embrace it. He has to accept it is a reason to become better as a cricketer and human being. With the right support I don’t see any problems with him bouncing back and doing really well.”


Click link for full article from Nick Hoult in The Telegraph

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