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T20 World Cup: Miracle man Stokes brings trophy home for England - News Home

T20 World Cup: Miracle man Stokes brings trophy home for England

A Sunday night of delight for England stretched interminably with most of its players living it up in the Melbourne Cricket Ground’s dressing room. Jos Buttler’s men had just claimed the ICC Twenty20 World Cup at Pakistan’s expense and some cricketers stepped out to speak to the media.

A Pakistani journalist spoke to Adil Rashid in a language that seemed familiar and yet vague. “Was that Punjabi,” an Indian scribe asked and the reply was: “No, it is the Pahari dialect spoken by the Mirpuris.” It was a moment that encapsulated the cricketing, social and linguistic strands that bind people split by continents but fused by a shared past.

The fusion-theme was in vogue when Rashid said: “Inside our dressing room there is inclusivity, we all come from different backgrounds but we are there for the team’s cause.” Earlier, Rashid’s leg-spin did a star-turn for England even if it was left-arm speedster Sam Curran, who walked away with the accolades.

Diverse men congregating together and performing in sync defined England’s march to the victor’s podium. If some had to get past migration-angst, others had to fight their inner demons and in that zone none can be bigger than Ben Stokes. The talismanic all-rounder and England’s Test captain does give the Moses-vibe, parting seas, ushering in miracles and making fans believe that nothing is improbable on the cricketing turf.

Yet, he is equally fragile. “Look he is a champion but he is a human too, there will be anxiety,” Rashid said. There are dual threads running here that are linked to history and the mind. Leap back to the 2016 final at Eden Gardens and you will recall Ian Bishop’s iconic final remark: “Carlos Brathwaite, remember the name!” The West Indian had just clattered four sixes off Stokes in the game’s concluding over. An improbable victory was seized and Stokes sat on his haunches, hid his head within his palms and wept.