“You’re an average cricket team,” Tim Paine reacts strongly to Ben Stokes’ dressing room comments during Ashes 2023

Stokes' speech in dressing room was covered in the new docu-series about Ashes 2023.

Ben Stokes | GettyFormer Australia Test skipper Tim Paine has reacted strongly to Ben Stokes’ remarks during Ashes 2023 that his Test side will ‘forever in the memory of people who were lucky enough to witness us play’.

In the docu-series titled, ‘Ashes 2023 | Our Take,’ Stokes can be seen giving a motivational speech to ante up the morale of his side while the momentum they had built was being washed away by rain in the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

“Everything we’ve done up until now isn’t going to stop because we haven’t managed to win the urn back,” Stokes told his teammates in the dressing room after England lost the chance of levelling the series at 2-2.

“The reward for our work isn’t what we get, but what we become. And what we have managed to do is, we’ve managed to become a sports team that will live forever in the memory of people who were lucky enough to witness us play cricket.”

While England won the fifth Test at the Oval and managed to level the series, the Pat Cummins-led Australian side retained the urn.

Paine found Stokes’ comments to be out of context but related the positive message to the ‘Bazball’ approach they have adopted under head coach Brendon McCullum.

“I think it was taken slightly out of context because he was talking in a changing room and it was a bigger speech, so I will say that,” Paine said on SEN Tassie Breakfast.

“However, it’s just this continued belief that they’re completely changing the game and they’re doing this amazing stuff and everyone’s going to remember it … they’re not,” he added.

Tim Paine didn’t mince his words as he called the English Test team ‘average’, citing their dismal performances in the World Test Championship.

Notably, the Ben Stokes-led side failed to make the WTC final in the previous cycle and are languishing at the bottom of the nine-team championship in the ongoing edition.

“You’re coming dead last in the World Test Championship. You’re not going to be a team that everyone remembers watching and you’re not doing anything outrageously good that we haven’t seen before.

“You’re an average cricket team. (Actually) you’re at the moment, a below-average cricket team and I think they need to get their head around that a little bit,” Paine remarked.

When Australian media outlet Fox Sports took a dig at Stokes’ remarks on social media, the England captain responded: “Said this to the team who had watched it rain for 2 days when we had our foot on your throats, just tried to cheer up the disappointment tbh,but anyways rent free and all that.”

Paine found Stokes’ retort bizarre as the latter was responding to a TV broadcaster and not the Australian side.

“You’re talking to a TV production. I found it quite strange that he went back at them because it would be like me going back at Sky Sports. It’s just strange. They’re living in a bit of a weird, strange world over there at the moment. Anyway, each to their own as they say,” he stated.


By Salman Anjum - 08 Jul, 2024

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