Ben Stokes and the cure-all that is ‘passion’

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One worrying, but entirely predictable, revelation from Ben Stokes’ recent interview in the Guardian is that he’s broken bones punching inanimate objects before.

He reckons he’s going to learn this time.

“I don’t think punching lockers is the way forward for anyone. There’s only going to be one winner there.”

This is an odd way of putting it, as if the locker was somehow parading around celebrating victory in the aftermath, rather than sitting there shell-shocked, wondering why the hell someone had just lamped it one FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER.

Also, generally speaking people who punch things in anger don’t learn. Considering it rationally, Stokes knows not to do it, but when you’re launching a left hook at a solid object, you’re not exactly in a rational frame of mind. It’s an emotional thing. People act differently when they’re capable of emotions rather than being all cold and dead inside, like you’re supposed to be.

They call it venting, but venting isn’t a thing. The act of ‘venting’ keeps your heart-rate up; it keeps you angry; and it also feels sort of good, so you carry on doing it.

But at least he has passion, eh? That was the big thing missing for England over the winter. Everyone says so. If only they had a bit more passion, they could have won. Passion drives you onto greater things. Passion drives you to things like losing all perspective, obsessing, never resting and eventually having a mental breakdown.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. I’m most upset that neither the ECB or Ben Stokes have issued an update on the condition of the locker itself. Hope it’s okay.

    1. It’s far worse than that, RCaugust. I have it on the very best authority that the ECB has not even been in touch with the locker, neither to check up on its progress nor to offer advice and guidance.

      By all accounts, the ECB still hasn’t told Andy Caddick whether or not he still has a chance to play for England.

      The dereliction of duty by the ECB in these cases is palpable. Giles Clarke should do the honourable thing and resign.

    2. He has no honour, Ged. He is an unprincipled cad, a bounder, a shyster of considerable proportion, and an egotistical mountebank. And a twat.

    3. Michael Vaughan said the locker was just struggling for cricketing reasons and felt we’d all been conned by it.

  2. No stories of punching large inanimate objects in anger while watching cricket? I have mildly amusing but sadly f***ball-related experience of thumping a fridge. The closest thing while watching cricket was probably whacking my (small, animate) younger brother in the ribs with a tennis racket after Graeme Hick was lbw to McMillan in 1994.

  3. Even aged eight he knew full well the risks of entering the room and asking a question during the opposition bowler’s run-up.

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