Ben stokes

Has Bazball rescued — or ruined — cricket?

The date 6 June 2021 was a grim day for cricket. As the world was adjusting to life after the pandemic, a Lord’s Test with a full house felt like ‘the promised kiss of springtime’. And so it was, until the final afternoon, when New Zealand challenged England to make 273 in 75 overs. The gesture was recognised as generous by all except the faint souls in the England dressing room, rendered frit by the possibility of defeat. Thousands of spectators, bewildered by five hours of fearful prodding, withdrew their consent. Cricket has witnessed more profound changes in the past decade than in the previous 100 years With ‘the Hundred’

Can Ben Stokes save The Ashes?

England cricket fans rejoiced on Monday at the news that few saw coming. It was not their side’s comprehensive victory over reigning T20 World Champions West Indies at the weekend that had champagne corks popping and hope for a renaissance after a less than impressive summer coursing through the veins of the Barmy Army. Rather, it was the announcement that their talisman and Ginger General, Ben Stokes, had been added to the Ashes squad to tour Australia next month. Stokes had been sidelined for the vast majority of the 2021 season with a badly broken finger, sustained while playing for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL last April. He had

Why 2021 could be sport’s greatest year yet

The best thing about sport in 2020 was that any happened at all. And how good much of it was. The worst thing was that hardly anyone got to see it live. Trophies being lifted was a triumph. Trophies being lifted in front of rows and rows of empty seats was just tragic. Let’s replay the year again. This time, though, we transpose the front and back pages of our newspapers. What a year it would have been if we had awoken each day to stories about the excellence of Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool; the continual brilliance of Lewis Hamilton; the coronation of the Gypsy King Tyson Fury and his admirable

The Amazon Prime doc that will convert anyone to cricket

Imagine rooting for the Australian cricket team. If you’re Scottish, Welsh or Irish — or Australian obviously — it might not be such a stretch. But for an Englishman, I suspect, it’s nigh on impossible. It would be like supporting Germany in the (football) World Cup. Or yearning for the All Blacks to win the rugby. We invented cricket, after all. And in that particular sphere, Australia is our natural enemy. They burned our bails in 1882 — ‘the Ashes of English cricket’ — and quite properly we have never forgiven them. But if that’s how you feel — and I really don’t blame you — then you should treat