Ben Stokes has drawn the line at suggestions of redemption but admitted his part in England’s World Cup win was made all the sweeter by the memory of his court battle two years ago.
Stokes was found not guilty of affray following a night out in Bristol in 2017 but was banned and fined by the England and Wales Cricket Board after accepting a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.
Stokes, who was also stripped of the Test vice-captaincy and missed the Ashes tour, was the star of England’s dramatic last-gasp win over New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday.
Stokes told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I won’t look back and say I redeemed myself or anything like that – I’m an athlete and a cricketer and it’s what we are paid to do, to win trophies.
“It was coming back from all of that, it was tough. Getting back into cricket obviously massively helped [me get] straight after that.
“It was a stressful time for me, my wife, my family back home. I had amazing people around me, my team-mates, friends, family. They have to take a lot of credit for helping me to get through that.
“I got emotional there, at the end, and that was probably a culmination of lots of things, happiness that we won it and subconsciously thinking and remembering back to what I went through.”
Despite the ongoing celebrations in the wake of such a famous victory, Stokes insisted England must already start preparing for future challenges including the Ashes later this year.
“We’ve achieved half of what we wanted to do, which is winning the World Cup,” added Stokes.
“Everyone who is involved in the Test team as well as the one-day team has sort of had to get their heads around the fact that we have an Ashes series coming up and we still have a serious amount of work to do.”