Ben Stokes, the England's all-rounder speaks about the IPL, new England captain Joe Root and an exciting summer of cricket. Hes the greatest England all-rounder of his generation; hes a master of all three versions of the international game, he racked up the fastest 250 in test cricket, and hes just become the most expensive overseas player in the history of the Indian Premier League. Hes Ben Stokes and he has lots to say about the IPL, new England captain Joe Root and 2017's pulsating summer of cricket.
So, whats it like to be worth $2.33 million?
Its pretty cool. Obviously, the moneys a bit mental. Its a life-changing sum but, to be honest, I find talking about it a little embarrassing.”
The Pune Supergiants clearly have high expectations of you. How are you coping with the pressure?
Andrew Flintoff told me that the pressure of playing in the IPL is unlike anything else in cricket. Rather than stress, though, I see it as responsibility. I want to deliver on what the Supergiants have paid for me. It just makes me want to work ever harder.”
Talking of responsibility, what was it like being told youre the England test sides new vice captain?
When [Director of Cricket] Andrew Strauss broke the news, I was delighted. Its very pleasing when the people at the very top of our game see what youve accomplished on the field and think that you merit the responsibility of being a vice captain. Its a huge honour and Im really looking forward to go through everything with Rooty.
You mention Joe Root. How do you think hell shape up as a leader.
I think hell be a wonderful captain. Theres been some talking that he should just concentrate of making runs but Rootys got such great mental strength, I dont think the pressure will tell on him at all. When hes at the crease, hell be Joe Root the batsman. Hell be Joe Root the captain when were in the field.
Rootys a natural leader. And hes a great source of wisdom to tap in the shape of Alastair Cook who Im sure will be a major part of the England set-up for a very long time to come.
You were interviewed for the captains job, werent you?
Yes, I was. I think that the highest honour next to playing for England is captaining England. But Rootys the right man to do the job. Hes got the respect of the entire dressing room. Hes got a great cricket mind on him. Hes going to do a great job.
Hes certainly got his work cut out for him.
Its a very exciting year for international cricket, 2017. Weve got South Africa and the West Indies touring this summer which Im looking forward to. Ive got very fond memories of our last series against the Proteas so itll be exciting to see what I can do over the summer. And then weve the Ashes tour at the end of the year. I just cant wait to get stuck in.