Tom Curran believes Ben Stokes will “come back strong” in next year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, having been ruthlessly carted for four straight sixes in the final of the 2016 edition by Carlos Brathwaite.
That last over from Stokes – with 19 runs to defend – in the final in Kolkata cost England the title. A distraught Stokes was on his haunches as the Windies players celebrated, in what quickly became the prevailing image of the tournament.
Curran, 21 at the time, had watched the match at home. Speaking at the launch of the fixtures for the 2020 edition of the tournament, he recounted how difficult it was to watch. However, he backed Stokes to make amends next year.
“Yeah, was watching at home. It was very hard to watch,” he said on Tuesday, 29 January. “But Stokesy will come back strong, no doubt. That’s the beauty of T20 cricket. It’s never over really, a few balls in an over sometimes turns the game on its head. It’s an exciting time for everyone involved.”
Curran was also buoyant about England’s chances. They’ve been a difference force in limited-overs cricket over the last few years, following a decision to overhaul their approach to the format – “It’s been a crazy transformation over the last 24 months,” said Curran.
Since then, England have become the No.1 side in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Rankings and are No.3 in the corresponding T20I charts. They will, despite that, have a tough time of it in the 2020 edition, given they have been pooled with India, South Africa and Afghanistan.
The @scg will host the opening match of the #T20WorldCup Super 12 with hosts Australia taking on Pakistan.— ICC T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) January 28, 2019
England will face South Africa on a Friday night and India play in the crucial last match of the Super 12 against rising force Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/b4d2Frv13e
The clash between India and England, in particular, stands out as one to watch, and when Curran was asked how he planned to dismiss India captain Virat Kohli, he said: “Hopefully not with a no-ball! We’ll see. He’s an unbelievable player.”
Most of all, though, Curran was just purely excited at the prospect of playing a World event in Australia. “All the games are so exciting, the crowd will be phenomenal, and to be a part of it will be amazing,” he said. “Playing T20s in Australia is unbelievable. We saw the excitement the 50-over World Cup (in 2015) created here.
"(Australia has) some of the most unbelievable stadiums in the world. To experience it properly in this Big Bash season has been amazing for me.”
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