How Stokes spent his IPL millions
England superstar talks about his IPL experience and playing with an Ashes rival
29 June 2017, 11:55 AM AEST
If you’re Ben Stokes, England’s red-hot allrounder, what do you do with the $2.8 million pay packet from the Indian Premier League?
You buy a flash new supercar. And that’s it.
"I won’t be touching the rest for a long time," he told the Daily Mirror. "But I had to treat myself, and I love cars."
Stokes is perhaps the best player on the planet today, having stunned audiences and opponents in the IPL, Champions Trophy and for England in all forms of cricket in the past 18 months.
His record-breaking salary for Rising Pune Supergiant at this year’s IPL auction underpinned his value as an allrounder, who on his day can bowl as fast as anybody in the world and is virtually unmatched when it comes to power hitting.
But it’s not the money that drives Stokes.
"Looking back on the price tag that everyone talks about, the fact is I would have left with the same amount of money had I done poorly or had I done well - so the only way I was going to judge myself was by how I did on the pitch not by the price," said Stokes, who put in three man-of-the-match performances for Pune, including a match-winning century.
"Thankfully things did go pretty well in that sense so I left India with my shoulders up and chest out because I felt good that I had managed to produce big performances for the team.
"If it had gone the other way and I hadn’t managed to play well then I would have felt like I’d let myself down."
Stokes will undoubtedly be a key player for England come the summer and the Ashes against Steve Smith and the Australians down under.
The pair put their national rivalry aside to work together in the IPL for Pune, with the Australia skipper even passing on some batting tips to his star recruit.
Smith and Stokes squared off during this month’s Champions Trophy tournament in Edgbaston, where it was the Englishman who took home the bragging rights courtesy of a blazing century that eliminated Australia.
The next time they face each other will be at the Gabba in Brisbane for the first Ashes Test, and friendships will be temporarily put aside once they’re out in the middle.
"Are we friends? ... Aye," Stokes said "We got on well together but I think we both know when it comes to Ashes cricket and Australia against England it is back to how it is.
"If you spend five or six weeks on the same team as someone you’re bound to get to know them because you get to see the real person and spend time with them.
"But I’m not going to be shy of saying something to him if I need to out there and I don’t think he would be either so that is probably where we are."