England coach lauds team's spiritual leader' for motivational speech after Afghanistan loss
England's head coach Matthew Mott shared the impactful message conveyed by their veteran cricketer following England's surprising defeat to Afghanistan in the 2023 ODI World Cup.
Mott lauded Ben Stokes as the team's "spiritual leader," heralding his ability to galvanize the squad and instill a sense of confidence. Despite Stokes' U-turn from retirement from ODIs, he has been unable to partake in the ongoing mega-event due to a lingering hip injury, which led to his absence in the first three matches.
“He’s like the spiritual leader of the group in many ways and he certainly spoke really well after the game the other day,” said Mott.
Stokes, in his speech, underscored the imperative for the team to assert themselves and reclaim their self-assuredness. He reminded his colleagues of their customary role in setting the game's tempo and unsettling the opposition. He urged them to reestablish this proactive stance and manage what they could influence. Stokes' message deeply resonated with the team, reconnecting them with their fundamental strengths and origins.
Matthew Mott shares excerpts from Stokes' speech
“You don’t lose your ability overnight but you can lose your confidence,” he said.
“It’s that confidence puff your chest out, go out there and really take the game on, which this team has been renowned for over a long period of time. On reflection we’ve been the reactive team in those two games, so we need to turn that round really quickly.
“That was one of Stokesy’s biggest points – we’re normally the team that dictates terms and gets the other team unsettled, disrupted and for whatever reason we haven’t been able to do that. We’ve always been on the back foot, trying to pull things back. What we need to do is dominate those first 15 overs whether we bat first or bowl first.”