Stokes: IPL contract ‘gives me more drive to work even harder’

“There’s still a lot more I want to achieve personally”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has revealed that he is fired up to have more success in international cricket after attracting the highest bid for a foreign player at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction last month.

Stokes was bought by the Rising Pune Supergiants for an eye-popping INR 14.5 crore (approximately USD 2.16 million).

“To put it into words is still quite hard,” Stokes said. “Exciting is probably the best word to use. I find it quite hard to talk about. I don’t know how to talk about stuff like that. It’s one of those things that makes me a little bit awkward.”

While he is looking forward to playing in the IPL next month, Stokes insisted that he is fully focused on the three-match ODI series against the West Indies, which begins on Friday in Antigua.

“I wouldn’t say I’m going to rest on my laurels and slip off now,” he said. “If anything, it gives me more drive to work even harder. You see success can get you things like this. And wanting to be successful for many more years to come will probably give me more motivation to work harder.

“I’m 25. I’ve hopefully 10 years left in me in international cricket if the body holds up. So there’s still a lot more I want to achieve personally and in terms of this England team.”

Another thing that is on Stokes’ mind is the Champions Trophy, which will be held in England in June. With the event being held in front of their own fans, Stokes insisted that there is no excuse why England shouldn’t be in the running to win the tournament.

“We’ve got a good chance and we know how talented this team is,” he said. “We should be one of the favourites but we don’t want to get big heads. We’ll keep our feet firmly planted on the ground.”

Stokes also admitted that he has matured a lot since his last trip to the Caribbean back in 2014, where he broke his hand after punching a locker and subsequently missed the World Twenty20.

“Being in a leadership role, I’m maybe going to have to take a step back,” the new England Test vice-captain said. “One big example would be the locker incident. If I ever repeat something like that again – I don’t think I ever would – I’d be very disappointed in myself. I feel now I’ve got a better way of dealing with failure.

“You find ways to deal with stuff like that your own way. I pack my kit after I get out now. I wouldn’t say it chills you out, but it just puts your mind on something else – it’s something I choose to do that’s worked.”

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