Playing without crowds could affect Stokes' performance: Darren Gough
Former England fast bowler Darren Gough feels Ben Stokes could experience a dip in performance if international cricket resumes sans spectators. However, Gough also lavished praise on the star all-rounder for rising to the occasion, more often than not. Stokes will return to action in the impending Test series against West Indies. ECB recently announced the proposed dates for the series. Here is more.
Earlier this year, Stokes won Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Player of the Year. He was also named the Leading Cricketer in the World in 2020 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. He was the chief architect in England's title-clinching World Cup campaign, having scored an unbeaten 84. In the Ashes, Stokes pulled off a miraculous Test victory at Headingley.
"It will be interesting to see how someone like him, the greatest cricketer arguably in the world at the moment, how he performs with no crowd. I think it might affect his performance just a little bit," Gough was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
Gough heaped praise on Stokes for emerging as match-winner for England across formats. The 49-year-old highlighted Stokes' all-round contribution for England in the Ashes and 2019 World Cup. "We have seen Ben Stokes whenever there is a big game on, when there is something really at stake in a match, he steps up and always delivers," added Gough.
Earlier this week, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced the proposed dates and venues of England's impending Test series against West Indies. The series will be played in a bio-secure environment. "I don't think it makes any difference to the players. Of course, some players react to crowd more than others," Gough concluded. "For some players, it doesn't matter, they will deliver."