Ben Stokes' recent book 'On Fire - My Story of England's Summer To Remember' has been in the news for his mention of David Warner during his epic match-winning Ashes knock in Leeds. In his book, which is being serialised in a British newspaper, he claims Warner's sledging motivated Stokes during his match-winning heroics in the third Ashes Test this year. He just wouldn't shut up for most of my time out there," Stokes said of Warner, who insists he has reformed and is no longer the brash character who was banned for a year over a ball-tampering scandal. I could accept it from just about any other opponent. Truly. Not from him, though. The changed man he was adamant he'd become, the one that hardly said boo to a goose and even went as far as claiming he had been re-nicknamed 'Humble' by his Australia team-mates, had disappeared," Stokes had written.
However, Australia skipper Tim Paine has lashed out at Stokes and said it was a ploy to spike book sales by using Warner's name. Asked if it was a cheap shot by Stokes, Paine replied, "Oh absolutely. I was obviously standing next to David the whole time (at first slip) and you are allowed to talk on the cricket field. But by no means was he abusing him or sledging him. It just seems to be a common trend in England that they like to use Davey's name to spike book sales," Paine said ahead of the first Test against Pakistan in Brisbane.
Following his achievements in the summer in which he helped England win the World Cup for the first time and ensured England did not lose an Ashes Test at home for the first time in 18 years, the left-hander was voted as the Players' Player of the Year at the Professional Cricketers' Association awards. Speaking after receiving the award, Stokes highlighted the magnitude of the achievement.
"It's hard to put it into words. I am over the moon that players think I am worthy of winning the PCA Players' Player of the Year through performances this summer. You can take a lot of personal pride when you receive this award because it's your peers that vote for you. Earning this award is a huge moment. While this is an individual award, it is within a team sport so I am only in this position because of what other guys in our squad have achieved as well. What we have done as a team in 2019 is phenomenal, to win the World Cup and draw the Ashes has been a fantastic summer and something I am proud of personally and as a team," Stokes said.