Ben Stokes was the Man of the Match for England in the World Cup final Sunday with a match-winning 84, which was followed by some big hitting in the Super Over. But not many are aware that the 28-year-old born in New Zealand and his parents continue to stay there. In fact, his father said he was supporting New Zealand in the final.
Stokes was born on June 4, 1991 in New Zealand and spent the initial years of his life in Christchurch. The Stokes family had moved to England after Stokes’ father Gerard took a rugby league coaching contract in Cumbria. The all-rounder moved to England at the age of 12.
While Stokes is settled in England now, his parents continue to stay in Christchurch, where they saw the thrilling final and their son play against their side. Gerard, a former Kiwis rugby league player, said that even though he had mixed feelings as his side lost, he was ‘overjoyed’ to see his son’s performance at Lord’s.
“I really am disappointed for the Black Caps; it’s such a shame someone had to walk away without the trophy. Hand on heart, I am overjoyed for Ben and the team, but I am still a New Zealand supporter,” Gerard was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz. “I don’t think they would have been able to hold him back. He’s was obviously fatigued but he’s pretty fit at the moment and all the hard work has paid off.”
“He’ll be feeling for the Black Caps, but not as countrymen, He would have thought how the New Zealand boys would be feeling. They are very close units; both teams get on well and respect each other,” Gerard said.
In a 2016 profile published on stuff.co,nz, Stokes had spoken of how he had grown up in New Zealand playing cricket.
“I played a lot of cricket in New Zealand and Mum and Dad have said as soon as I could walk all I wanted to do was play cricket. Whenever anyone came around all I would do is play cricket in the garden for hours. I remember taking down the fence a couple of times and the Chinese family next door did not appreciate it too much.” he said.
Stokes was named Man of the match after England was declared the champions based on the number of boundaries scored in the match. New Zealand and England were tied after 50 overs and after a Super Over.