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Ben Stokes: Must keep anger in control

Ben Stokes had injured his hand in a freak accident during England's tour of West Indies © Getty Images
Ben Stokes had injured his hand in a freak accident during England’s tour of West Indies © Getty Images

London: Apr 18, 2014

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. Stokes has had more than a month already to regret the flash of temper that saw him lash out at a dressing-room locker and break a bone in his right wrist in frustration at making a duck against West Indies in a One-Day International (ODI) in Bridgetown.

The 22-year-old has paid a significant price already, missing England’s ICC World T20 2014 campaign in Bangladesh and earning a rebuke from team management.

It is not the first time Stoke has let his temper get the better of him with painful repercussions.

The stakes were not as high as missed international fixtures when a teenage Stokes punched a fire door, leaving him with a broken bone after a dismissal in an amateur club cricket match.

“I don’t think punching lockers is the way forward,” Stokes said.

“There is only going to be one winner there … it is on the pitch where I should be showing my emotions. Next time I look at a locker, I’ll know what it did to me.

“I did it when I was a lot younger and I thought I’d moved on from it then. I broke a bone then as well. It wasn’t a locker – it was a fire door, playing club cricket.”

A decade or so later, a miserable run of 18 runs in four innings and no wickets either against the West Indies, plus the unwanted sight of Stokes’ own face, caused him to snap once again.

“Funnily enough, there was a picture of myself on the locker,” Stokes added.

“It was more about failure on a personal level. I’m very passionate about what I do … but on that occasion it came out in a way that I regret.

“I hope in the future, if I get to that point again, I’ll be able to deal with it in a way that doesn’t break my wrist.”

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