Cricket World Cup: Ben Stokes is ‘no angel’ and has nothing to prove
West Indies look forward to facing England quick bowler Jofra Archer
Stokes: I have nothing to prove
England all-rounder Ben Stokes says that while he has learned a valuable lesson from his well-publicised brawl outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017 he’ll never be an angel.
The Times reports that the 28-year-old, who was found not guilty of affray last year, was bullish when asked if he felt that he still had to atone for his actions.
“I don’t have to prove myself to anyone,” said Stokes. “I only have to prove things to myself. I’m not looking to please anyone, or to go out there and do something individually great.”
Stokes also said that it’s not in character to be completely squeaky clean.
“I’m not going to suddenly be an angel, because that’s not me,” he explained. “It’s just about trying to make better decisions, but I don’t think of this in terms of it being a second opportunity.”
Windies are ready for Archer
West Indies coach Floyd Reifer has laughed off the idea that they have anything to fear from Jofra Archer when they face England on Friday.
The Barbados-born quick has been bowling with aggression and accuracy so far in the Cricket World Cup, but Reifer - speaking after rain washed out the Windies’ clash with South Africa on Monday - didn’t show any concern when asked about Archer.
“He’s a tremendous talent, we all know that, but he’s not new to us,” said Reifer, who played club cricket with Archer a few years ago.
“Yes, he’s bowling quickly, but there’s nothing we’re not accustomed to. We’re looking forward to the challenge. I’m sure Jofra will be chomping at the bit to come at us, and we’ll be ready for him.”
When he was asked if he harboured any resentment towards Archer for choosing England over his native West Indies, Reifer replied: “He made his choice.”
Jos Buttler is said to be “responding well” to treatment to the hip he injured during the 106-run win against Bangladesh on Saturday.
The England camp said he suffered “heavy bruising” to the joint as he smashed a six into the stands, and The Guardian believes he will be fit for the clash with the West Indies on Friday (10.30am, live on Sky Sports).
However, the Daily Mail isn’t so sure, with the paper claiming that an England source said Buttler “will be reassessed later this week”.
Soggy South Africa
South Africa’s chances of reaching the semi-finals have receded still further after rain washed out their match with the West Indies.
Only seven and a half overs were possible in Southampton on Monday before the heavens opened and it remained that way for the rest of the day.
In that short space of time South Africa’s shocking form continued with the Proteas struggling to 29-2. It means they have just one point from four matches and with New Zealand and Australia still to play the chances of them making the top four are remote.
“We are in a bad position but it’s our own fault,” admitted South Africa captain Faf du Plessis. “We haven’t played our best cricket so far and we need a solid performance to get the team’s confidence up.”
This week’s Cricket World Cup fixtures
All matches are live on Sky Sports:
- Tuesday 11 June: Bangladesh vs. Sri Lanka (10.30am)
- Wednesday 12 June: Australia vs. Pakistan (10.30am)
- Thursday 13 June: India vs. New Zealand (10.30am)
- Friday 14 June: England vs. West Indies (10.30am)
- Saturday 15 June: Sri Lanka vs. Australia (10.30am); South Africa vs. Afghanistan (1.30pm)
- Sunday 16 June: India vs. Pakistan (10.30am)
- Monday 17 June: West Indies vs. Bangladesh (10.30am)
- Tuesday 18 June: England vs. Afghanistan (10.30am)
- Wednesday 19 June: New Zealand vs. South Africa (10.30am)
- Thursday 20 June: Australia vs. Bangladesh (10.30am)
- See the full fixture list at cricketworldcup.com