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England are in two minds. They need Ben Stokes in their line-up as he is one of the most important player. But, they cannot push him as he suffered a knee injury during the first one-day international against South Africa in Leeds. Many blamed his long stint in Indian Premier League for the burnout but former England all-rounder Ian Botham has said that Stokes stint in IPL has made him a mature player.
“He has matured as person and cricketer. People were saying to me, ‘Do you think he should have gone for that long to the IPL?’ The answer is ‘yes’ because he’s come back a better cricketer. He’s probably thinking a lot clearer and knows what he wants to do; he doesn’t get flustered anymore,” Botham told Sky Sports.
Stokes represented Rising Pune Supergiant in the tenth edition of IPL and made 316 runs and also picked up 12 wickets. His performance earned him the Most Valuable Player award. Botham said that Stokes has controlled the hype.
“The red mist comes down occasionally but he’s controlling that. I think he’s come back from India a better cricketer and I think people should look at the bigger picture and not just say ‘he’s got a knee injury – he got that in the IPL’ when in fact, he’s had that a while, ” he said.
Stokes had to sit of the third one-day international against South Africa due to injury and also, England needed to rest him before the ICC Champions Trophy which starts June 1.