At the end of England’s dramatic Newlands victory over South Africa, Ben Stokes refuted the television media’s assertion that he should be awarded the player of the match award. Instead, when his name was announced he tried to bring maiden centurion Dominic Sibley with him to collect the award.
Sibley though, whether out of humility, shyness or some combination of the two, refused to join Stokes in front of the cameras. But the attempt did not go unnoticed and the all-rounder was asked about it as he gathered the award.
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Ben Stokes on Sibley:
Asked why he tried to bring Sibley with him, he answered, “I came in situations where it was done or die really and I thought Dom put all the hard yards in to get us in the position of winning. He’s the man of the match; he should be the one up here. But he’s unfortunately slid away, but I won’t be taking that, he’s trying to run away as fast as he can. Full credit’s got to go to Dom and how he played.”
Stokes was given the award for his superb all-round performance. He became only the third player to complete the trio of 100 or more runs, six catches and three wickets in a single Test, alongside Frank Wooley and Jacques Kallis. Sibley meanwhile scored a gritty unbeaten 133 to provide the backbone to England’s second innings.
Stokes later said that the two were battling for who was going to take the trophy with them, each trying to sneak it into the other’s belongings in the changing room until Stokes issued an ultimatum.
“We are sitting next to each other in the dressing room and I walked in, gave it to him and he put it in my place. I went ‘no’ and put it in his bag, walked back in and it was back in my bag. I said: ‘You’ve shafted me once by making me do the interviews if it ends up back in my spot we are never sitting next to each other again.’ He has got it now.”
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