‘I f***ing don’t care if I get fined, I love cricket!’: Exhausted Ben Stokes revels in England dressing-room celebrations after his Ashes triumph
- Stokes shared a picture of himself slumped in the dressing room after his victory
- He scored an unbeaten 135 to steer England to an improbable win over Australia
- The all-rounder paid tribute to his team-mate Jack Leach calling him a ‘legend’
An exhausted Ben Stokes revelled in his historic Ashes triumph last night and declared that ‘I f***ing don’t care if I get fined’ amid the dressing-room celebrations.
Stokes shared a picture on social media in the afterglow of England’s epic win, showing him slumped in the Leeds dressing room with his cap over his eyes after a marathon effort to win the third Test.
His comments are perhaps an allusion to the disciplinary problems which once plagued his career and threatened to wreck it when he was put on trial for affray.
He also labelled his team-mate Jack Leach a ‘legend’ after the spin bowler helped him steer England over the line on Sunday afternoon.
Stokes shared this picture of himself slumped over in the England dressing room after an exhausting match-winning innings against Australia
Ben Stokes revelled in his historic Ashes triumph last night and declared that ‘I f***ing don’t care if I get fined’ amid raucous celebrations
Leach joined Stokes on the field with England in a seemingly hopeless position, needing more than 70 runs to win with only one wicket remaining.
The bowler scored just one run but stayed in long enough for Stokes to pummel Australia’s bowlers around Headingley and seal a thrilling victory for England.
Stokes smashed 135 not out to guide England to their highest ever fourth-innings run chase in a Test match.
His career was nearly derailed last year when he faced charges of affray over his role in a nightclub brawl in Bristol in 2017.
He was found not guilty by a jury, but still fined by English cricket bosses for ‘bringing the game into disrepute’.
There will be no prolonged celebrations for England’s cricketers, at least not yet, with two matches still to play in the Ashes series.
The series may now be level, but Australia will still leave England with the coveted urn if they win either of the remaining Tests.
Still, Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined in the cheers last night, tweeting from Biarritz to hail Stokes’s ‘incredible batting’.
Victory: Ben Stokes lets out a roar of celebration after hitting the winning runs against Australia after a thrilling innings in the third Ashes Test yesterday
Stokes soaks up the applause of the Headingley crowd after hitting the winning runs to win the third Ashes Test on Sunday afternoon
His predecessor Theresa May hosted Stokes and his team-mates at Downing Street shortly before she left office, in the wake of England’s World Cup triumph.
England cricket bosses had stressed that the players’ celebrations would be kept restrained with the Ashes beginning shortly afterwards.
Their forebears in 2005 had revelled in a Trafalgar Square open-top bus celebration after winning that year’s Ashes series.
It culminated in a visit to Downing Street to meet then-PM Tony Blair, who was branded a ‘k**b* by England bowler Matthew Hoggard.
It was also rumoured that some players including star man Andrew Flintoff had relieved themselves in the Downing Street garden.
The hubris of those celebrations was later blamed for a downturn in form which led to a 5-0 thumping by Australia in the return series in 2006/07.
All 12 players in 2005 were also given MBEs or OBES, in a move which was widely mocked at the time.
Downing Street would not be drawn last month on any honours that this year’s England team might receive, saying the issue would be ‘dealt with in the usual way’.