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Ben Stokes: ‘I lived every moment of the Ashes … I was just as gutted’ | Ali Martin

The England all-rounder recalls his emotional England return after missing the series defeat in Australia, and explains why playing in the IPL is not about the money

It’s 6pm at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. A drowsy sun has already slunk below the stands, kites glide overhead and after three hours of intense training in the heat, where he has batted twice, thundered in with the ball for the first time in weeks and stayed late to work on his flying boundary catches, Ben Stokes strolls over for a chat.

There is of course one almighty elephant in the ground. We both briefly acknowledge this but it remains just that. This is his first in-depth interview since the incident in Bristol on 25 September last year but regarding events that night Stokes must wait to have his say in court this summer after he and two other men pleaded not guilty to affray. For now it is only cricket, both England and Indian Premier League, that can be on the agenda in the Garden City.

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