England superstar Ben Stokes has offered to provide his expert counselling services to two cricketers plagued by discipline problems, Australia’s David Warner and South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada.
Speaking exclusively with HitWicket.News, Stokes claimed his unique approach in the world of cricket would knock some sense into the two players.
“Anger management is my thing,” said the hard-hitting all-rounder. “I’d be happy to sit down with the boys over a beer or 12 and show them my streetwise system for managing people who offend me.”
Rabada, the Proteas’ fiery pace bowler, was handed a two Test match suspension following the Second Test between South Africa and Australia in Port Elizabeth – right after being handed the Player of the Match award for his 11 wickets. Warner was also charged by Match Referee Jeff Crowe during the game, but escaped suspension due to not breaching the demerit threshold. Both players have extensive histories of disciplinary problems.
While Stokes had a troubled first few years of his career for England, in 2017 he has displayed a new approach to avoiding official ICC sanctions and keeping his problems off the field.
“It’s simple. If I’m not playing, I can avoid confrontation and relax more with plenty of beer. I’ve had absolutely no run-ins with other players since September 2017. That’s pretty impressive for a redhead,” boasted the New Zealand-born Stokes. “I’m very proud of that. I feel like others can learn from my experience.”
During his time away from the England team, Stokes devoted himself to a comprehensive conflict resolution program under the tutelage of such pacifist cricket luminaries as Dennis Lillee, Merv Hughes, Virat Kohli, and Sir Ian Botham.
Stokes’ new philosophy reportedly revolves around removing one-to-one tensions from the playing field and having a quiet word on the street, away from media scrutiny, where nothing can go wrong.
But Stokes warns that Warner and Rabada will have to dig deep to succeed in changing their confrontational ways.
“Davey and KG definitely won’t find it easy. Like me, they’ll undergo a few trials. But they should definitely give it a bash.”
“Let’s knock around a few,” offered Stokes. “Ideas, that is.”
by John Newell