Ben Stokes hits the ball hard

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Cricket - Investec Test Series 2015 - England v New Zealand - Lord's Cricket Ground, London, England

Ben Stokes greeted the second new ball as if it were a rampaging arcade machine and he were Kung Fury. After five balls with it, he was 16 runs better off.

As ever, he had hit the ball hard. The ball knows when it’s been hit by Stokes. It will almost certainly have lost its hearing upon impact, but the rest of us will have an abiding memory of a clean percussive sound, the like of which you simply don’t hear coming from the bats of too many other players.

‘He hits the ball hard’ is an increasingly common cliché. What people generally mean when they say it is ‘he hits the ball in the air’ – but it’s not the same thing. Pretty much any batsman can clear the rope these days, but there are only a few who really sting a fielder’s palms.

We suppose it’s easier to gauge how hard something’s hit when it’s arcing through the air rather than pinging back off the boundary boards. As often as not, Stokes hits the ball along the floor. He hits it hard though. He hits it as if he was once struck by lightning and bitten by a cobra, becoming The Chosen One in the process.


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      1. It’s like he says to the ball, “Ball, consider yourself hit”, in the only language balls understand, which is bat language.

  1. A floor is the walking surface of a room or vehicle. Floors vary from simple dirt in a cave to many-layered surfaces modern technology. Floors may be stone, wood, bamboo, metal, or any other material that can support the expected load.

    I bet Stokes hits balls hard in the changing room.

  2. A research team lead by Silke Voigt-Heucke from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin recently showed that bats can identify members of their own species and even members of their own social group from echolocation calls. The researchers tested how lesser bulldog bats (Noctilio albiventris) respond to the playback of echolocation calls of familiar and unfamiliar bats of their own and other species. Bats responded to the echolocation calls with a complex repertoire of social behaviour, for example by stretching out their wings and exposing their smelly subaxillary glands in their armpits, which allows potent pheromones to be released.

    Bats reacted much more frequently to calls from unknown bats than to known bats from their same species and responded least of all to the calls of other bat species. Even more surprising is that when bats heard echolocation calls of their own species, they called back with a special vocalization that carried an individual acoustical signature. The researchers think that these calls represent some form of greeting such as “Hello, it’s me.”

    The researchers conclude that bat echolocation conveys social information and thus is not only used for orientation but also communication in bats. Bats seem to use a language of their own, in frequency ranges not audible to humans.

    The research was conducted in cooperation with the Max-Planck Institute for Ornithology, the University of Vienna and the University of Bern and was recently published in Animal Behaviour.

    It’s a lot of balls

  3. Ben Stokes came out this morning and did some more hitting the ball hard.

    Sometimes he hit it on the ground to the rope, sometimes in the air.

    Ben Stokes.

      1. Geoffrey: “He’s taking the Mickey, Jonathan! I think he’s taking the Mickey!”

        I’m sitting at my desk at work feeling quite emotional. Just as I was on the 60 all out day.

  4. Kung City’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. Also has the best song Hasselhoff’s ever done. If the world was even remotely fair, he’d have flown up the charts with it.

    1. If you think someone is going to drop a skyer, don’t go half way down the pitch in anticipation. Assume they’ll drop it. Even if they’re AB.

      I don’t think the fun could have lasted much longer but a 399 partnership tantalizes and annoys the inner numerologist.

      1. Yes. If you’re going to get out like that, you’ve got to earn the right to do so, by crossing the appropriate landmark first. In this case the appropriate landmark was at the very least to finish off the quadruple century partnership. And probably to have a good go at 36 from an over. Plus the fastest individual 300. After that he can get himself out any silly way he wants, so long as he beats Lara’s high score first.

        (Or at least knocked Haydo further down the list. Is there a single reader of this site who would not have preferred that to be made to happen than a comedy run out? I mean comedy run outs are good and all but it isn’t as if England’s cricketers regularly get a shot at deposing Haydo.)

  5. Freddie never did this… A whole generation cheated by their supposed “hero”. Now we know what properly making the ball get hit hard by a Northerner all-rounder looks like, we can forget about t’other one.

    To be fair we just need Stokes to do this in the Ashes for that to happen.

    Mind the windows, Ben.

  6. I’ve been laid up with tonsillitis since Monday and those two ginger man from the North of England made me forget to take my medication this morning.

  7. People in my office are now talking about the cricket. Shut up! You weren’t there at the beginning! Does the name Alan Wells mean nothing to you people?

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