England’s stand-in-skipper Ben Stokes has lauded the depth of the country’s resources and claimed that he’s not sure if many cricket nations have the same luxury. He also added that it’s pretty amazing how things were put back into place after everything that unfolded on Tuesday.
England cricket faced a rude shock when their first-choice squad for the ODI series against Pakistan was sidelined, after seven personnel in the set-up tested positive for Covid-19. All the players were sent into isolation and the ECB were forced to pick a revised side, that featured as many as nine uncapped players. The squad contains six players who have never even represented the country in any format of the game.
However, it has also presented the star English all-rounder Ben Stokes with the opportunity of captaining the ODI side. He had last captained England in a Test against West Indies in 2020 when cricket had resumed after the pandemic for the first time in England, in terms of red-ball games. Ahead of the series against Pakistan, Ben Stokes, reflecting on the situation, pointed to the silver-lining of the recent happenings, and stated he’s unsure if other countries boast such kind of depth as the Three Lions.
“I’m not sure how many countries could lose this many players and still have such quality to choose from at such short notice. We are lucky to have the strength in depth that we have in white ball cricket, and this is just a fantastic opportunity for these players to show what they can do,” Stokes wrote in his column for The Mirror, reported India Today.
However, he hoped for the team to adapt quickly when they take on Pakistan in the ODI series that kick-starts from Thursday.
“You have to be able to adapt at this level and that is what has been going on over the last 24 hours off the field. It has been amazing how quickly things have been put in place since I got the call late on Monday night,” he said.
Stokes added that it would be an understatement to say he wasn’t expecting captaincy, though he had packed up clothes that will sustain him for only three days.
“Well, that escalated quickly! To say that I wasn’t expecting to be leading England out in a one day match in Cardiff this week would be a huge understatement. But here we are, and duty calls.”
“I only packed clothes for three days away from home, so there will need to be a bit of extra washing done, although I hadn’t actually received any of my new England one day kit yet so that should all be waiting for me, I hope,” he said.
Eoin Morgan has been one of the most successful skippers in the history of England. He was the first captain to lead England to the World Cup glory. Stokes asserted that it won’t be easy to replace Morgan, even for one series.
“The last time I captained a white ball side was in an IPL warm up game. So this will be new for me too, but my experience as a player should get me through, even if Morgs’ (Eoin Morgan) shoes are unbelievably big to fill!” said Stokes.