Ben Stokes went through arguably the toughest phase of his life when a video of him outside a night club in Bristol went viral in 2017. The incident shook the cricketing world and the 29-year-old was stripped of vice-captaincy and lost his spot in the England team for that year’s Ashes.
Writing in a column for the Guardian, Ben Stokes revealed how Joe Root had his back in those troubled times.
“There was no better example of this for me than a few years ago when I was going through a well documented period in my life that was pretty tough. But even though he had plenty on his plate as England captain and with an Ashes tour to play in, not once did he distance himself from me, quite the opposite. At those times, he wasn’t my captain, he was my friend. It was a time when I didn’t have a huge amount of support from too many people, but Joe had my back so I’ll always hold him in the highest esteem with the way he handled that situation,” Stokes wrote.
Stokes further added in this regard:
“And that wasn’t just publicly in the media, but in private too. He was going through his own tough time down in Australia but he stayed in constant contact and that meant a huge amount to me.It is why in situations where he needs me, I will do anything I can for him. If people wonder why I’d run through a brick wall for him, it is because of this.”
An incredible achievement! Congratulations on 💯 caps, @root66 👏
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 5, 2021
Ben Stokes also said that besides being a fantastic cricketer, Joe Root is also a kind and thoughtful person.
“For most people, Joe is an incredible athlete, one of the very best batsmen the game has seen, and an inspirational captain and leader. But for some he is also just Joe who is a kind and thoughtful person and a down to earth lad from Sheffield who happens to be really good at cricket,” added Ben Stokes.
In a heartwarming gesture, Ben Stokes was asked to present Joe Root the cap for the latter’s 100th Test appearance. Talking about the same, the England vice-captain said the moment will stay with him forever.
“What a proud thrill it was to be asked to present our captain Joe Root with his 100th cap in a team gathering before the game. These are special moments that you carry with you through your career and it was great to be able to mark the moment with a few heartfelt words. I couldn’t be more proud to be his vice-captain, a position that looked a long way off not too long ago, but even on this issue his loyalty towards me has never wavered. I like to think we make a good team and we have different skills that can hopefully work well to help the team,” said Stokes.
Ben Stokes and Joe Root have stitched together a brilliant 92-run partnership and will look to propel England to an impregnable total.
How good is it to watch these two bat together?
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 6, 2021