"He was keen," Ross Taylor reveals Ben Stokes wanted to play for New Zealand at the age of 18-19

Ben Stokes is currently leading the England Test team.

Ross Taylor and Ben Stokes | Getty

Former Kiwi cricketer Ross Taylor talked about how he once asked Ben Stokes when he was just 18 years old if he wanted to represent New Zealand at international stage. 

New Zealand-born Stokes went on to become one of the finest cricketers for England. He moved to England as a 12-year-old when his father, professional rugby player, Gerard Stokes, got a league coaching job in Cumbria.

The all-rounder, who recently called time on his ODI career, is currently leading England in Tests. Stokes made his debut for England in ODIs at the age of 20 in 2011 and played his first Test during the 2013 Ashes series in Australia. 

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Since then, Stokes has played many sensational knocks for his side and has taken his team to some famous victories in all three formats of the game, including a staggering innings in the final of Cricket World Cup 2019. 

Writing in his book Ross Taylor: Black & White, Taylor revealed that Stokes was keen to play for New Zealand and he on behalf of him talked to NZC CEO Justin Vaughan about the same. 

"He was 18 or 19 and very much a Kiwi. Over a Guinness, I asked him if he wanted to come and play in New Zealand. He was keen so I sent a message to New Zealand Cricket CEO Justin Vaughan saying this guy Stokes was a really good young cricketer and interested in playing for New Zealand," Ross Taylor wrote in his book. 

He further narrated how Vaughan told him that Stokes need to start from domestic cricket in New Zealand and he requested him for some fast-track to the national side but he didn’t agree. 

"Vaughan replied along the lines that he could start playing domestic cricket and we'd see where it went. I went back saying we'd have to offer him more than that because he wouldn't be interested if it meant starting at the bottom rung of the ladder. Obviously, it didn't come to anything

"Ben was sincere about playing for New Zealand, but NZC would've had to have acted swiftly and decisively and given him some pretty solid assurances, which Vaughan clearly wasn't prepared to do," he said. 

Taylor recently retired from international cricket whereas Stokes will lead his side in the upcoming Test series against England. 

(Ross Taylor: Black & White Inputs)


By Ankitjit Singh - 15 Aug, 2022

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