Strauss cautions Stokes to not get caught up in World Cup fame
Andrew Strauss has forewarned Ben Stokes about the dangers of excessive praise and advised him to deal with his newfound World Cup hero status with caution.
Stokes batted brilliantly during his valiant contribution of 84 runs during England's chase in the World Cup final and later renewed his partnership with Jos Buttler in the Super Over shootout to help his side to a dramatic win over New Zealand at Lord's.
Former England skipper Strauss, however, urged Stokes to keep a cool head amidst extensive adulation and called on him to remain unfazed to continue match-winning performances on the field.
"What will be hard for Ben going forward is the levels of adulation he'll receive," Strauss said.
Strauss compared Stokes' popularity post the World Cup victory with the example of all-rounder Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff, who played a key role in England's epic 2005 Ashes series win.
"That was a burden for Freddie Flintoff. He often lived up to it and that was great, but increasingly you are under more and more pressure to be the man every time you play and that is a big burden.
Stokes' remarkable journey of redemption has been inspirational given the fact he was on the receiving end of four successive sixes from Carlos Brathwaite in the 2016 World T20 final which saw the West Indies clinch an unbelievable win.
'Stokes apologized to me after he came out of jail'
Stokes' playing career met another huge obstacle when he was involved in a late-night brawl in Bristol for which he was dropped from the squad for the Ashes series.
With his future in international cricket clouded in uncertainty at that point in time, then director of England cricket Strauss made efforts to ease the process for Stokes by guiding him through this tough period.
Strauss narrated how Stokes emerged as a completely changed character adamant at making amends when he was released from police custody after being found not guilty of affray.
"You know what, I just remember going down to the police station with Ben. I spent a long time with Clare, his wife, waiting for him to come out of the jail," he said.
"What struck me as soon as he came out was actually his character. Because he stood up and said, 'I've got this horribly wrong. I apologise sincerely for what I've done here'.
"From that moment on, I thought this was going to be a good thing for him. It was very hard to know which way it was going to go. People can go two ways after something like that happens to them.
"Anyone who knows Ben and who has played with him knows what an incredible person he is to have on your team.
"What we've seen is some of those rough edges just smoothed a little bit over the last 12 or 18 months without him losing that incredible desire and hunger to win.
"It's an easy story to say what happened in the World Cup final is redemption for him, but I just think it was one of English cricket's talents showing what he can do on the greatest stage."