'Want this team to be a legacy team' - Ben Stokes has bigger goals than winning the Ashes

The England captain laid bare the ultimate goal for his side: to grow into a legacy-defining Test side for generations to come. 

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After losing the marquee Ashes at home for the second consecutive time, England skipper Ben Stokes insisted his team plays with a bigger goal than regaining the urn: define and establish a legacy for generations to follow. 

As rain put paid to England's quest of levelling the five-match Test series in Manchester, the home team captain suggested he doesn't hold regret after conceding a 2-1 scoreline ahead of The Oval finale. 

Playing to a curiously sympathetic narrative after two rain-marred days for a side that lost back-to-back home Tests in Edgbaston and Lord's, Stokes said just winning the Ashes has never been his ultimate goal.

That is to eventually leave a legacy of being a side that reinvigorated interest in the long-form game and took it to the masses with its ultraggressive batting. 

Ben Stokes earmarks bigger goal after Ashes defeat 

England couldn't persist successfully with their 'Bazball' antics for most parts of four Tests against the most rounded opposition attack they have faced since coach Brendon McCullum cultivated the idea. 

But Ben Stokes lauded his troops for their effort and intent over the past year, with his side raising the profile of the Test game again in UK after the disastrous one win in 17 previous Tests. 

"We've become a team that have been so unbelievably well followed and we will live long in the memories of those who have watched us," Stokes was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. 

"As much as I would love to be an Ashes-winning captain, I want this team to be a legacy team. And regardless of what happens over the next period, this 18 months will go down in history as one of the most exciting and proactive teams to go out there and represent England."

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Stokes may have rebuilt a fresh set-up with McCullum but England have now failed to regain the Ashes for the past five attempts and will have spent more than a decade in disappointment for not holding the esteemed prize when they travel Down Under in 2025-26 Aussie summer.