Ben Stokes is now a world box-office attraction: Ian Botham
England all-rounder Ben Stokes produced a heroic display in the recently-concluded third Ashes Test at Headingley. The 2019 World Cup winning hero smashed an unbeaten 135 to help England eke out an unlikely win against Australia to level the five-match series at 1-1. Former England legend Ian Botham feels that Stokes' life will change forever, besides calling him a world box-office attraction.
Stokes played with a lot of character and resilience to help England chase down a record 359-run target. He smashed a superb century and went mayhem post that. This was his eighth career Test century and a second in 2019. It was also his second Ashes 2019 hundred. The biggest highlight was the unbeaten 76-run stand for the last wicket with Jack Leach.
In The Ashes history, it was Botham's mastery in the 1981 Headingley Test that saw England stun Australia. In 2005, former all-rounder Andrew Flintoff's brilliant over saw England win by two runs at Edgbaston. And now, Stokes' charge brought about the same aura. Both Botham and Flintoff had become overnight sensations. And Botham feels that Stokes' life will change forever.
"It changed my life overnight. I think Ben's life will be the same. He will have no private life. He has to get used to that and so do the family," Botham told the Daily Telegraph.
Stokes' brilliance was the second one in a space of six weeks to help England achieve success. Botham likened him as box-office attraction. "He is public property but it is a great place to be in for the long term. It will set him up for life. He will reap the rewards which he richly deserves and he is now a world box-office attraction."
Botham feels that Test cricket is the ultimate test and praised Stokes. "He will play all the T20 leagues but the refreshing thing about it all is he wants to play Test cricket and do well in it. That is the ultimate test," Botham added.