Stokes hopes thrilling Ashes series inspires new generation

"The cricket that's been played is something that you really couldn't take your eyes off."

Ben Stokes says he hopes England‘s thrilling comeback from 2-0 down against Australia to draw the Ashes series will inspire a new generation of cricket fans.

Australia, chasing a mammoth 384 to win at The Oval on Monday, collapsed from 264-3 to 334 all out, meaning England won by 49 runs to square the five-match series.

“I think 2-2 generally is a fair reflection of two very, very good teams going at it over a five-match series,” said delighted England captain Stokes.

“Obviously, Australia being world Test champions leading into this series, the cricket that I think has been on show has been of the highest quality.”

The 32-year-old all-rounder said he was proud of the way his team — who recovered from defeats in the first two Tests at Edgbaston and Lord’s — had played throughout the series, sticking to their attacking template.


“Coming here and playing in the way in which we did, I couldn’t be any more proud of the team and what they did,” he said.

“We’ve continued everything in the style of play in which we’ve done over the past 14-15 months and it’s basically been everything I think I could have asked for minus getting the urn back.”

Stokes, who hit a stunning 155 in a losing cause at Lord’s, said he hoped youngsters would be inspired by what they had witnessed.

“I definitely think that over the past seven weeks in particular that we’ve managed to drag a new audience towards Test cricket,” he said.

“And I think the series is generally what Test cricket needed — two high-quality teams going at it toe to toe for six, seven weeks and the cricket that’s been played is something that you really couldn’t take your eyes off.

“I really hope that we’ve inspired a new generation.

“I look back to 2005 (when England beat Australia 2-1) and what that series did for me as a young person and I really hope there’s someone at my age in 2005 who’s looked at this series and said ‘that’s what I want to be doing when I’m 21, 22’.”

Stuart Broad

Stokes paid another tribute to retiring paceman Stuart Broad, who leaves Test cricket with 604 wickets after taking the final two scalps on Monday.

“Seeing him run off and all the slips go up and celebrate was one of those moments that was just like ‘this was always going to happen’,” he said.

And the skipper also praised all-rounder Chris Woakes, who took 4-50 on the final day and was named player of the series, even though he was not selected for the first two matches.

“I don’t know if there’s ever been a player who has only featured in three games of an Ashes series who has walked away with man of the series.”