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Nasser Hussain backs England all-rounder Ben Stokes to get better with time

Nasser Hussain, former England cricket team skipper, believes Ben Stokes will only get better with time after the all-rounder made his return to the side vs New Zealand.

cricket Updated: Feb 28, 2018 12:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
England cricket team,New Zealand,Ben Stokes
Nasser Hussain believes Ben Stokes will only get better with time after the all-rounder made his return to the side vs New Zealand. (AFP)

On Sunday, charismatic England cricket team all-rounder Ben Stokes finally made a comeback to international cricket during the first ODI against New Zealand in Hamilton.

Stokes scored only 12 runs with the bat and claimed 2-43 from his eight overs in the series opener that the hosts won by three wickets.

However, his return brought an excitement to a number of former England cricketers including former captain Nasser Hussain, who believes Stokes will only get better with time.

“It was not to end in a win but it was so nearly a fairy-tale return for Stokes,’ Hussain was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

“But above all, he would have just wanted to get a game for England under his belt. This is what he does. He’s an all-action cricketer. And this is probably the first day he has been able to put the incident in Bristol to the back of his mind and get on with his job,” Hussain further said.

Stokes had not played any international cricket following his involvement in a brawl outside a nightclub in Bristol in September 2017 after which he was arrested. Later, he was charged with affray and had to appear in Bristol Magistrates’ Court on February 13.

After pleading guilty, his case was referred to Bristol Crown Court with the next hearing scheduled on March 12. With the court giving him green signal to play cricket, he was then named in England’s squad for upcoming five-match series against New Zealand.

His return to the team, though, divided opinions with some of the former cricketers including former skipper Mike Atherton slamming the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for including him in the squad.

Hussain, though, had no such problem and he backed the all-rounder to the hilt.

Meanwhile, Ben Stokes scalped two more wickets in the second ODI in Tauranga on Wednesday. His figures of 2/43 from eight overs were pivotal in helping England bowl out New Zealand for only 223 in 49.4 overs.

First Published: Feb 28, 2018 12:59 IST