Pat Cummins concurs that the 2023 series should be compared to the 2005 series.
Stokes was 14 years old during the 2005 Ashes
Ben Stokes believes that the 2023 Ashes were “what Test cricket needed” and expects that they “inspired a new generation” of cricketers in the same way as the 2005 series did for him.
Since Stokes’ appointment as captain and Brendon McCullum’s as coach last year, England’s players and management have repeatedly stated their wish to keep the format alive, and viewing and listening figures have been high over the last six weeks.
While the numbers haven’t quite matched those of 18 years ago, when the series was broadcast live on free-to-air TV in the UK, Stokes believes his England squad has “dragged a new audience towards cricket” with their ultra-attacking approach with the bat.
“The series is generally what Test cricket needed: two high-quality teams going toe-to-toe for six or seven weeks,” Stokes said after his team won the fifth Test at The Oval by 49 runs on the last day. “The cricket that was played was something you couldn’t take your eyes off of.”
“We’ve been in control, then Australia has been in control in different ways, and I think everyone who came out to watch the game had a great time.” As someone who pays to come witness international sports, I suppose that’s all you can really ask for.”
Stokes was 14 years old during the 2005 Ashes, often regarded as the greatest contemporary Test series, and expressed optimism that the 2023 edition will have a similar impact on young athletes across the country.
“I really hope that we’ve inspired a new generation,” he says. “I reflect on 2005 and what that series meant to me as a young person. I really hope that someone my age in 2005 saw this series and said, “That’s what I want to be doing when I’m 21 or 22.”
Stokes’ rival, Pat Cummins, reiterated Stokes’ comparison to the 2005 series, stating he had witnessed an increase in interest in the sport. “That’s been one of the best things about the last eight weeks,” Cummins said. “Even just walking around the streets
“You always expect one idiot now and then, but there haven’t been any.” Everyone has been great and just talking about cricket and how much they love it, and I know it’s the same back home.
“There are a lot of cricket fans out there.” How cool is that? It doesn’t get much better from here. I was a little young in 2005, but that series receives a lot of attention. It appears that this one is similar.”
Stokes thought the series scoreline was appropriate. “I think two-all is a genuinely fair reflection of two very, very good teams going at it over a five-match series,” he explained. “With Australia being World Test Champions heading into the Ashes, the cricket on display has been of the highest quality.”
“Being two-nil down is a very difficult assignment to come back from; being able to sit here and say we’ve leveled the series, knowing we had to win the last three… The weather clearly had an impact on the game in Manchester, but it is what it is. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys for coming here and performing the way we did.”
Throughout the series, England scored at a substantially quicker rate than Australia, averaging 4.74 runs per over to Australia’s 3.35. “We continued everything in the style of play we’ve had over the last 15 months, and it’s been everything I could have asked for—minus getting the urn back,” Stokes explained.
When asked if the outcome validated England’s offensive approach, he stated, “Looking at the success over the number of games we’ve played, the style obviously works.” We’ve had a lot of success. Critics are inevitable in any endeavor, but the most significant thoughts and perspectives that I consider as a leader are those that surround me.”
But he stopped short of stating that the rest of the world should adopt Bazball. “It’s unfair for me to sit here and say, ‘This is how other teams should play,'” Stokes explained. “It’s fantastic if other teams take inspiration from the way we’re playing and use it to their advantage.”
“But I don’t think I’d ever say that every other country should play the way we do, because every team is made up of different people.” Different styles of play bring out the best in people and teams, but the way we play brings out the best in our individuals and us as a team as a whole.”
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