England’s World Cup-winning all-rounder Ben Stokes says outside noise used to affect him in his younger days but now he pays no heed to it as he has realised that team and people around hold more importance.
Rajasthan Royals rode on Stokes’ spectacular 107 off 60 balls and an unbeaten 54 by Sanju Samson to chase down a stiff 196-run target set by Mumbai Indians with 10 balls to spare on Sunday night.
Asked how he dealt with the ups and downs as a cricketer in the last couple of years, Stokes said: “Outside noise can affect people in different ways, when I was younger it affected me.
“It took me a while to understand that outside noise isn’t what matters. It is all about what’s within the team or people who have an influence on you, on your career,” he told teammate Samson in a video uploaded on IPLT20.com.
Stokes, who had missed the initial matches of the IPL to be with his ailing father Ged in New Zealand, was elevated to the role of an opener by the Royals but he struggled in his new position initially.
The Royals, however, persisted with the plan and the move finally paid dividends against Mumbai Indians as Stokes was back to his destructive best, smashing 14 fours and three sixes in his unbeaten knock.
Stokes was delighted to repay the faith the team has shown in him over the years.
“I have had backing from everyone at the franchise, I know I haven’t delivered to the expectations of that but having that backing from the people that matter in the franchise is really the thing that I sort of pride everything on. It’s good to return the faith,” Stokes said.
The comprehensive eight-wicket win keeps the inaugural season champions alive in the race for the playoff spot.
“To beat a team like Mumbai by eight wickets is fantastic especially considering the momentum that Mumbai probably carried in with the innings that Hardik played. Some special striking. So, yeah great to get a win,” he added.