Ian Botham: 'Special One' Stokes' life will change forever

Updated: Aug 28, 2019, 15:23 IST | AFP |

Until Stokes lit up Headingley on Sunday with his series-saving 135, Botham's titanic 149 not out in the second innings of the 1981 Test against the Australians had been the benchmark

Ian Botham
Ian Botham

London: The accolades keep coming for Ben Stokes after his astonishing match-winning innings in the third Ashes Test against Australia with icon Ian Botham anointing him English cricket's 'Special One'.

Until Stokes lit up Headingley on Sunday with his series-saving 135, Botham's titanic 149 not out in the second innings of the 1981 Test against the Australians had been the benchmark. A full 28 years later, Stokes's unbeaten knock secured England an unlikely one-wicket win in the third Test and in the process kept the Ashes alive by levelling the series at 1-1.

Botham, who is chairman of Durham where Stokes plays his county cricket, told the Daily Telegraph Stokes's bold performance against the odds had earned him the special sobriquet. "He is the 'Special One' and I intend to call him that for the rest of his career," said Botham, 63.

"He wants to be the best. He wants to be in the oven.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes

"He wants to be in the hottest place in the kitchen and he wants to take them all on. That is his character."

Botham's innings in 1981 after England had to follow on transformed the outcome of the match and transformed the rest of the legendary all-rounder's life. "It changed my life overnight. I think Ben's life will be the same. He will have no private life. He has to get used to that and so do the family," he said.

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