Ben Stokes hits back at Sanjay Manjrekar’s ‘garnish chef’ jibehttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/ben-stokes-sanjay-manjrekar-sri-lanka-vs-england-test-series-5470162/

Ben Stokes hits back at Sanjay Manjrekar’s ‘garnish chef’ jibe

Ben Stokes responded to Sanjay Manrejkar's comment suggesting undeserved praise for the all-rounder over other England players.

England's Ben Stokes celebrates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's Niroshan Dickwella (not pictured).
Ben Stokes picked up five wickets and scored 187 runs in the Test series against Sri Lanka. (Source: Reuters)

Former India player and now commentator, Sanjay Manjrekar came down on Ben Stokes while suggesting the England all-rounder hogged the limelight in their 3-0 clean sweep of Sri Lanka. Manjrekar compared the situation to that of a garnish chef taking the credit for the dish instead of the “poor chefs” who did the hard work. In this case, Manjrekar labelled Moeen Ali, Jack Leach and Ben Foakes as the poor chefs.

In his assessment of the series, Manjrekar had earlier claimed, “While enjoying the success, Eng would be better served for its long term improvement by acknowledging that this SL side is a pretty weak side. This is currently the easiest subcontinental challenge.”

Following the conclusion of the series, Manjrekar tweeted, “So you have these hardworking chefs who have made a great dish. Someone comes and puts a little garnish on top and he gets all the credit. Moeen, Leach, Foakes are those poor chefs and Stokes the one with the garnish.”

In reply, Stokes said, “We don’t care about personal credit,and garnish is pointless on all food anyways,we care about winning,it’s a team sport and we won as a team #3-0 Cheers Sanjay 💤”.

To which Manjrekar rather oddly replied: “Exactly my point! Hopefully certain people in your media also start thinking like this.”

During the three Test series, Stokes scored 187 runs and picked up five wickets but earned plenty of plaudits for his incredible athleticism and attitude to put Sri Lanka on the backfoot.

“Certainly I think he’s learnt a lesson since that time,” said England coach Trevor Bayliss, referring to the events of September 2017 where Stokes was involved in a brawl in Bristol. “The way he’s conducted himself since he has come back into the fold has been exemplary.”

“To see him bowl the ball and then chase the ball all the way to wide mid-on to save it, that’s commitment, that. He’s a madman. How many other blokes in the world would you see do that? No one. And that says a lot.

“I got into the lift a couple of nights ago after dinner on the third day and he was getting out. He’d just come back from the gym! That’s how hard he works. He deserves everything he gets from the game.

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“You can throw the ball to him, you can put him in any situation with the bat, you can put him where the ball is coming in the field. For me, he’s the first pick. His averages may not be the greatest in each of his positions. But you add those three disciplines together, it adds up to one hell of a player.”