‘Arise Sir Ben Stokes’: Gary Lineker calls for England’s Ashes hero to be knighted as world of sport hails sensational match-winning display against Australia at Headingley
- Ben Stokes inspired an incredible comeback for England in the third Ashes Test
- His 135 runs hauled Joe Root’s men to a dramatic victory from the brink of defeat
- Stokes started the day at the crease and stood firm against the tourists’ bowlers
- The historic series is now finely poised at one apiece heading to Old Trafford
Social media lauded the heroics of Ben Stokes after his defiant performance at the crease inspired Joe Root’s men to a dramatic victory in the third Ashes Test at Headingley.
Stokes had stood firm at the crease from the beginning of day four and spearheaded the incredible comeback with an unbeaten 135, just when it appeared Australia were destined to retain the urn.
Despite the seemingly unlikely 359 runs required to win, England held their nerve with endless amounts of praise later being lavished on Stokes across the internet.
Ben Stokes’ heroics had helped spearhead England’s dramatic victory in the third Ashes Test
The England star’s 135 run haul saw him hold his nerve throughout day four at Headingley
His magnificent century provided the basis for a second historic performance of the summer following England’s World Cup triumph, and his final wicket partnership with Jack Leach stood unbroken at 76 in the one-wicket triumph.
Australia had appeared to tighten their grip on the urn after the earlier dismissal of skipper Joe Root, but Stokes’ divine intervention rescued England’s fading chances of salvaging a series victory.
And it appeared the man of the moment himself could scarcely believe the scale of his heroics – with Stuart Broad posting a photo of Stokes in the dressing room and captioning it ‘Not sure he can quite believe what he’s just done?’.
Stuart Broad posted a photo of England’s hero in the dressing room following the drama
Gary Lineker tweeted: ‘Arise Sir @benstokes38. You absolute hero. Best test match ever. Unbelievable!’
Sportsmail columnist and former England captain Nasser Hussain, wrote: ‘You cannot do that Ben Stokes’, in reference to his commentary of the all-rounder’s incredible catch in the opening game of the World Cup against South Africa earlier this summer.
Former team-mate Graeme Swann tweeted: ‘I have no sister but if I did I’d want her to marry Ben Stokes.’
England legend and BBC summariser Geoffrey Boycott was forthright in his praise, saying: ‘I’ve seen some remarkable cricket moments in my life but that is the best I’ve seen in over 50 years.
‘Ben Stokes saved the Ashes and gave a magical inspirational innings. Even better than his World Cup performance. Well done England.’
Despite the last-gasp pain of defeat, former Aussie fast bowler Jason Gillespie was gracious in acknowledging Stokes’ heroics and described his knock as ‘one of the best of all time’.
STOKES FAVOURITE FOR SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Betfair Exchange SPOTY odds:
• Ben Stokes – 1/3
• Lewis Hamilton – 14/1
• Raheem Sterling – 14/1
• Frankie Dettori – 17/1
• Dina Asher Smith – 19/1
• Jofra Archer – 22/1
Betfair spokesperson Katie Baylis said: ‘Today’s unbelievable match-winning innings from Stokes has seen his odds for Sports Person of the Year go to odds-on at 1/3 from 6/4 before the test and it looks like he’s already got the award wrapped up with months of the sporting year to go.’
Several other notable names and celebrities also hailed England’s hero when the drama had unfolded on Sunday.
Piers Morgan tweeted: ‘Benjamin Stokes – you F*CKING LEGEND!’.
As BBC’s Test Match Special attempted to dissect the result, ex-Australian international Glenn McGrath also labelled Stokes ‘class’.
He said: ‘What a class cricketer Ben Stokes is. Amazing with bat, ball and in the field. Is there a better all-rounder in the world right now?’
Michael Vaughan could scarcely believe the action at Headingley, and added: ‘At Lord’s after the World Cup we said we would never see anything that special again.
‘We just have. But in an Ashes series, when your team is gone, the urn is practically in the Australia dressing room, to do that is something else.’
The sheer unpredictability of the result in Yorkshire had also turned the heads of some football fanatics, as Tottenham geared up to host Newcastle in the capital.
A video posted on Twitter shows a large gathering in the concourse at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium united in their celebrations after Stokes’ final four confirmed the unthinkable.
Football supporters at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium turned their attentions to the Ashes action
There were wild celebrations in the concourse after Stokes’ four confirmed England’s victory