Ahead of World Cup 2019 many British media reports had claimed that cricket, little played in Britain’s state schools, was slipping off the radar for young people and participation rates were falling sharply. In fact, according to the England and Wales Cricket Board’s own research, just five percent of British children aged six to 15 list cricket in their top two favourite sports — a figure that should strike fear into anybody with the long-term interests of the game at heart. However, a ray of hope appeared when England won their maiden World Cup title with a dramatic win over New Zealand in the final and that was bolstered on Sunday after Ben Stokes pulled off an Ashes miracle.
Ben Stokes became a national hero for the second time in just over a month when his astounding 135 not out saw England to an incredible one-wicket win in the third Ashes Test at Headingley.
Such were the manic celebrations in England that even the most ardent of football fans became overnight cricket lovers.
Ahead of the Premier League clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle, cricket fever gripped the fans inside the Tottenham Hotspur stadium as England closed in on an astonishing win over the visiting Aussies in the third Ashes Test.
Fans inside the stadium were seen glued to TV sets before kickoff and broke into wild celebrations as Stokes hit the winning runs.
Scenes inside Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as England win third Ashes Test – just before Spurs kick off against Newcastle pic.twitter.com/6IqDgP85qz
— Chris Slegg (@ChrisSlegg) August 25, 2019
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is rocking… because of the cricket pic.twitter.com/sOcv8c09M6
— Joe Aldridge (@AldridgeJoe) August 25, 2019
England — all out for a woeful 67 in their first innings — were 286-9, still needing 73 more runs to reach a victory target of 359 when bespectacled No.11 Jack Leach walked out to bat to join Stokes at the crease.
Leach, however, held firm with World Cup final winning batting star Stokes’s astonishing 135 not out seeing England complete their highest successful fourth innings chase as they squared the five-match series at 1-1.
(With AFP inputs)