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Ashes 2019 | Stokes the Greatest All-rounder England has Produced: Moeen Ali

Ben Stokes is the greatest all-rounder England has ever produced, according to Moeen Ali. Moeen also called Stokes the best cricketer he has ever played with, following the all-rounder's scintillating 135* in the remarkable chase of the third Ashes Test in Leeds.

Cricketnext Staff |August 27, 2019, 12:16 PM IST
England's Ben Stokes. (Pic: AFP)

Ben Stokes is the greatest all-rounder England has ever produced, according to Moeen Ali. Moeen also called Stokes the best cricketer he has ever played with, following the all-rounder's scintillating 135* in the remarkable chase of the third Ashes Test in Leeds.

"He is the best cricketer I have played alongside and while it might be a massive shout – and admittedly he is a very close friend – I would argue he is now the greatest all-rounder this country has ever produced," Moeen wrote for the Guardian.

"I know there are past greats like Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff but we’re watching another legend in the making here. When everyone woke up on Sunday morning there was a sense that England could do something very special. I followed the run chase throughout the day but with two runs to win I had to be peeled away from the TV screen in the dressing room to go out and bat for Worcestershire in our T20 game against Lancashire."

Moeen said Stokes was 'literally stopping games around the country', alluding to a one-minute pause in the T20 game when England hit the winning run.

"The thing is, none of it surprised me. Stokesy has always had the talent and potential. My beliefs are that good people who work hard get their rewards. There will be struggle at times and hurdles along the way – life throws up all sorts – but in the end, you will prevail if you stick to the right path," Moeen wrote.

"It may surprise some people when I follow this by saying he was already a mature guy at just 22, with a young family. And what I liked about him was that he treated everyone the same. It didn’t matter who you were, your background or what you looked like, he always had time for you. We hit it off straight away."

Moeen said the Bristol brawl in 2017 set back Stokes a little, but stressed it was a thing of the past. The miraculous run chase in Leeds, according to Moeen, was no fluke.

"Just before the incident in Bristol in 2017 I really thought he was coming into his own as a cricketer. That set him back a bit but since then he has become more aware of his surroundings and responsibilities. He has the Test vice-captaincy back now but he doesn’t need a label, because he leads any team he plays in regardless," he wrote.

"What we witnessed on Sunday wasn’t a fluke, it was the result of the hard work I mentioned. Seriously, you will not find a cricketer more dedicated to self-improvement. He trains at 100mph and is just unrelenting with it. And over time it has made him into the player you see today. Those mammoth bowling spells at Headingley are testament to that."

Moeen also credited Jack Leech, the No. 11, for sticking around with Stokes scoring a 17-ball 1*. Leach was picked in the side in Moeen's place after the first Test, a decision which Moeen himself agreed with.

"The decision to give him the nod over myself after Edgbaston was one I couldn’t argue with," he wrote. "All I care about is England doing well and if that means I’m looking on for a bit, I won’t lose any sleep. Whatever happens will happen and I will support Leachy and the boys regardless."

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