Tim Paine slams England after Ben Stokes remark on Ashes 2023


Tim Paine lashed out at Ben Stokes and England after the star all-rounder spoke highly about his team’s approach to Test cricket in the Ashes 2023 documentary. Notably, England lost the first two Tests in last year’s Ashes but bounced back strongly to level the five-match series 2-2.

However, the Aussies managed to retain the urn. Under Stokes’s captaincy and Brendon McCullum’s coaching, England has played flamboyantly, adopting the ultra-aggressive Bazball approach. However, their eye-catching style of play hasn’t always yielded the desired results, as they are languishing at the foot of the World Test Championship (WTC) table for the 2023-2025 cycle and also failed to reach the finals last year. In the documentary released by ECB, Stokes was spotted saying that his Test side will forever live in cricket fans’ memory who have been lucky enough to witness them in action.

“I think it was taken slightly out of context because he was talking in a changing room and it was a bigger speech, so I will say that,” Paine told on SEN Tassie Breakfast.

The cricketer-turned-expert said that England need to understand they are a ‘below-average’ Test team. Paine felt that the Three Lions were not doing anything special and would not be remembered by cricket enthusiasts.

“However, it’s just this continued belief that they’re completely changing the game and they’re doing this amazing stuff and everyone’s going to remember it. They’re not. You’re coming dead last in the World Test Championship. You’re not going to be a team that everyone remembers watching and you’re not doing anything outrageously good that we haven’t seen before. You’re an average cricket team. (Actually) you’re at the moment, a below-average cricket team and I think they need to get their head around that a little bit,” Paine remarked.

What did Ben Stokes say in the documentary?

The ECB had shared a clip of Stokes’ motivational speech in the dressing room ahead of the fifth Test match at Kennington Oval, London. However, the Australian media outlet Fox Sports took a dig at Stokes’ remarks on social media. But the legendary allrounder darted back by saying that it rained for two days and before the disappointment got to the team he just wanted to cheer up his teammates to keep England in high spirits.

“Everything we’ve done up until now isn’t going to stop because we haven’t managed to win the urn back. The reward for our work isn’t what we get, but what we become. And what we have managed to do is, we’ve managed to become a sports team that will live forever in the memory of people who were lucky enough to witness us play cricket,” Stokes told his teammates in the dressing room following the disappointment of not getting an outright result in Manchester.

“Said this to the team who had watched it rain for 2 days when we had our foot on your throats, just tried to cheer up the disappointment, but anyway, rent-free and all that,” Stokes concluded.