Stokes 'blown away' by support


Ben Stokes has been "blown away" by the support he has received following his role in England's World Twenty20 final misery against West Indies last month.

Stokes was handed responsibility for bowling the final over, with the Windies requiring 19 runs in order to win the final in Kolkata.

The all-rounder was hit for four successive maximums by Carlos Brathwaite as the Caribbean side surged to a second World T20 title in dramatic fashion.

Stokes feels a greater level of maturity has helped him cope with the incident, as well as getting plenty of encouragement since returning to England.

"I just sat there with a towel on my head, utterly devastated. I didn't want to walk out there slumped and beaten and looking like I felt inside," he told The Times.

"A few years ago, I would have really tortured myself about that final over. I used to find it so hard to let go, but I'm a lot better now.

"You can never beat your own mind when it plays tricks on you. I'm learning to cope a lot better with the bad times now.

"I wasn't exactly dreading coming home, but I was a little worried what reception I might get, but I've been blown away by the support.

"I was expecting a lot more criticism because even on good days there is always the odd person who will get stuck in on Twitter."

Stokes is known for his fiery character and had a run-in with Windies all-round Marlon Samuels in the final, but he insists he thrives on such confrontations.

"I'm always thinking about the private battle, even in the field. I'm always trying to be better than the other person I'm against," he continued.

"There are guys that you look at and you want to really bowl at them or bat against them, certain guys who really get your juices flowing.

"They tend to be similar characters to me - [Australia batsman] David Warner, for example. I love playing against these guys who have the same attitude to the game that I have. It's always been there, that competitive instinct... I just want to win."