Brilliant Ben Stokes

I saw Ben  Stokes hit the fastest ever century in Lord’s Test against New Zealand on May 24th last year. It was a thrilling innings to watch. It means  we all should  know he can be the most powerful and sustained hitter of the ball in modern cricket. It took him just 85 balls to reach 100.

In the Second test against South Africa in Cape Town Ben  Stokes has surpassed his brilliance at Lord’s. Hitting the fastest ever double hundred by an England test batsman, he rushed past 200 in just 163 deliveries.

Well done, Ben. You have lit up test cricket and England with such an amazing display.

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27 Comments

  1. Stu Saint
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Totally agree.

    England need to use this boost to set a consistent run. The problem with England cricket is that, while we undoubtedly have talent, we do not manage to remain consistently competitive in all areas (this applies to soccer and rugby as well). If we can stay in form we can beat anybody.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Well done indeed to the excellent (Ex New Zealander?) Ben Stokes.

      But the real problem with Cricket in general is that it is rather a declining sport in most schools. With it no longer being on free TV and the excellent Richie Benaud no more.

      Also it does not really fit in with the faster pace of modern life. Even in the West Indies they are tending to go for other sports ones that perhaps win them university scholarship places in the US. It is almost becoming a private school only sport.

      Sport is now mainly about money, flogging the endless latest equipment, personalities, sponsorship and TV rights rather than fun & pleasure. Also many, (especially the stamina sports) are unfortunately about medical technology and much use of damaging drugs. Ending up with prematurely aged bodies, early deaths and damaged joints.

      Might we not return more towards amateur sport purely for pleasure, but perhaps I am dreaming again.

      At my age perhaps croquet is best, but even here there are rumours of drug use.

      I see that Lord Prescott seems to like Croquet now that he has been elevated.

      Reply A lot of modern popular cricket is the 20/20 format which is a short and fast game which can fit in with modern lifestyles and tv schedules.

  2. Bob
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the govt have allocated £57.2m for a quango to investigate alleged war crimes by British personnel in Iraq, £300k for annual bonuses for EA bosses while people are still slopping out their flooded homes (and allegation left out as I do not think the MP concerned still has the alleged business interest ed)

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Why do you keep going on about QUANGOs? Dave said he would have a bonfire of the QUANGOs … they have all gone.

      Reply He did burn some, but left a lot. Some of those are now growing too fast and not giving value for money.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 4, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Value for money and government or QUANGOS are not things that really go together ever. It is not their money they spend nor they who get the value – so what do they care and it shows.

        I see that the Smart Metering fiasco (driven largely by government and absurd intermittent “green” energy religion) is going to waste £billions too, benefiting no one but the meter sellers and pointless bureaucrats. Costing bill payers for a system that is expensive and will not achieve any real benefits at all.

        What is Amber Rudd going to do about it? Does she even understand the situation?

    • Bob
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      “allegation left out as I do not think the MP concerned still has the alleged business interest”

      Sorry John,
      Allow me to reword it, Large multi-national tobacco company gets a licence to provide vaping on the NHS.
      Hows that?

      The main point being why should the NHS pay for vaping since it’s cheaper than smoking, so smokers will logically be saving on cigarettes anyway.
      I thought the NHS was in crisis.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 4, 2016 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        Indeed let the smokers pay for it themselves, if they can afford the fags then they can afford the vapes.

        Mind you we still all pay for quack medicine on the NHS – thanks to the Prince Charles types.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          yea but the bbc says the nhs is the envy of the world so it must be true.

          a complete and utter load of crap from top to bottom is the nhs, all the propaganda in the world is fooling nobody.

          a complete and utter waste of a term of conservative government that it has not taken on this sacred cow. but then dave just wants to be in power he had no idea what he wants to do.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted January 5, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

            Well that is largely my impression, though there are some saintly and dedicated staff working within this appalling NHS system.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Lots more money for the largely parasitic lawyers and hangers on again.

  3. The Active Citizen
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Well said, JR. Hear hear!

  4. Bill
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    And you can see a 9 minute clip free on the Sky website if you sign up for a Sky ID. Great stuff!

  5. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    But several of England’s better cricketers in recent years he should really be playing for another country – New Zealand in this case.

  6. alan jutson
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Let us enjoy it whilst we can, lets hope the bowlers do their job now.

  7. Margaret
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I prefer Badminton and Tennis , but lovely to see your enthusiasm for cricket .

  8. Tom William
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    It was also the fastest Test 250 by anyone.

  9. petermartin2001
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Yes well done to Ben Stokes who’s a marvellous player.

    The question I’d just ask is, if he’d been born in the UK and not spent the first 12 years of his life in NZ, would he have had the same opportunity?

    Most children in the UK have fewer opportunities to play sport than they might have simply because what used to be playing fields have been sold off by cash strapped local authorities and schools. The places I remember playing football and cricket as a child aren’t there any longer. Even so, the facilities weren’t marvellous. There were no nets to practice in for example. The first time I used nets I was at university and it was fantastic to be able to bat and bowl and not chase after every ball. I did feel sorry for local kids, some of whom were keen enough to sneak in to use the facilities. Which they could as far as I was concerned but the groundsman used to chase them off!

    So unless children are lucky enough to go to schools which do have the right facilities, they won’t have the opportunity to be the next Ben Stokes

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      I lived in Auckland, all the kids swim, sail, play rugby and cricket. You see how good they are at sailing before their teens and you realise what a brilliant place it is. Nowhere is remotely similar here.

  10. ian wragg
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
    Should be Englands motto.

    ‘still, glad there’s plenty of money to prosecute our soldiers. Can’t wait for the first woman to be charged when she’s trying to avoid being raped.
    Scoundrels the lot of you, you should be thoroughly ashamed.

    Where do we get steel from during the next war after Osborne has recommended China steel gets preferential treatment within the EU.

  11. Ken Moore
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    I once went to a cricket match it was a deeply unpleasant experience. The seats were very uncomfortable. I have sat in more comfortable bus shelters.
    Despite the discomfort I was relieved to fall asleep such was my level of boredom. Only to awake to the sound of loud applause. A man had hit a ball hard and run between 2 posts several times. Managed to dose off again thankfully.

    Cricket is a pastime like skittles or darts it’s not a serious game.
    Now that it is played by an assortment of helmeted ego maniacs it’s even less appealing.
    At least beefy..lamby, etc. had a bit of charisma and there was an element of risk to add some badly needed excitement.

  12. Horatio
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for bringing this up John
    It was very cheering and there were some great articles in today’s papers about this too.

    Michael Vaughan argues powerfully that the ECB must not waste the commercial value of a successful English cricket team as they did in 2005. To spread the game to the masses he suggests holding T20 matches at Wembley or the Olympic stadium. Big bash fills the 80,000 capacity MCG in Australia and uk T20 matches at the oval, with a quarter of the capacity, sell out in days.

    Let’s take this opportunity to grow the game in this country or watch it’s popularity diminish. Premiership rugby fills Twickenham and Wembley. Even rugby league fills st James’ park and old Trafford. Tradition is a beautiful and rightly cherished part of the game. But we must not waste this opportunity.

  13. Iain Gill
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Good to see a politician show some signs of normality.

  14. Javelin
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    I don’t post on this website very often. But my three posts in the last 6 months have been to predict the fall of the Saudi regime. Which is looks very likely.

  15. Edward.
    Posted January 5, 2016 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    Yes, superbly well played Ben – here’s hoping for many more like it.

    Though, Bluey’s lad played quite well too, it was noted in Yorkshire, if nowhere else.

  16. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 5, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Dear John–You only corrected one

  17. ChrisS
    Posted January 5, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    It would be helpful if our host would campaign for the Culture Department to add England Test Cricket to the list of sports events that have to be broadcast on at least one free-to-air channel.

    It’s a disgrace that our one true English national game cannot be seen on National TV whereas this afternoon the BBC is taking up the whole afternoon on BBC2 to broadcast a darts match, a pastime that isn’t really a sport at all.

    I would place a modest wager that if Test Cricket was a predominantly Welsh or Scottish game, it would be on one of the UK-wide BBC channels.

  18. PaulDirac
    Posted January 5, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Is it true that the EA spends about 60% of it’s budget on it’s managers and workers? If this is true, JR should ask for the justification.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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