After a remarkable 2019 in which he helped England win their first-ever World Cup and draw the Ashes, star all-rounder Ben Stokes has started 2020 on the same note. The England star came up with a stunning all-round display in Cape Town to help his side beat South Africa by 189 runs in a thrilling second Test and draw level in the four-match series.
In the second innings, he smashed 72 from just 47 balls to help England score quickly and get enough time to bowl out South Africa. His herculean knock turned out to be decisive in the end as England wrapped up the game with only nine overs remaining. Furthermore, on the field, Stokes took six catches including five alone in the first innings.
With the ball, he claimed the last three Proteas wickets to propel his side to a famous win. England needed three wickets in the final hour of the game and Stokes once again rose to the occasion. Stokes’ performance followed a stellar 2019 that ended with him being crowned as the BBC Sport’s Personality of the Year.
Ben Stokes’ touching gesture for his father
When Ben Stokes was making his way to the dressing room after his heroics in Cape Town, he was seen coming up with an interesting gesture. The all-rounder came up with a hand gesture where he folded his middle finger. And while it looked normal at that time, the real reason behind it was very special.
It was Stokes’ way of giving a tribute to his father who had to have part of his middle finger amputated in order to continue his rugby league career in the 1980s as he couldn’t afford to stop for an operation. It was also not the first time that Stokes had come up with that special hand gesture.
FYI Stokes makes this sign for his dad who chopped off part of his middle finger so he could continue playing rugby league as he couldn’t afford to stop for an operation. Ged is currently in a Jo’burg hospital https://t.co/uBuarAgNFY pic.twitter.com/aMRqXTThzR
— Vithushan Ehantharajah (@Vitu_E) January 7, 2020
Ben Stokes also spoke about his father while he was receiving the Man of the Match award. His father had to hospitalised two days before Christmas but has since been stabilised.
“This year can only really go downhill from here after that,” said Stokes as quoted by The Guardian. “I’ve had a few knee issues and stuff like that, but this game here I’ve got the three lions on my chest which is such a proud thing to be standing on a field doing.”
“But I always had my dad in the back of my mind and that took any injury worries or niggles out of my head. I was thinking that he came out here to watch me and unfortunately, he’s not been able to, so there was a lot more in my efforts this game, doing it for him. I haven’t managed to speak to him yet but hopefully, I’ve made him proud. I had a text off Mum but I haven’t read it yet,” Stokes further added.
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