Former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor has revealed in his recently release autobiography that he asked England all-rounder Ben Stokes if he wanted to play in New Zealand. He further disclosed that the all-rounder seemed interested, and the former sent a message to the CEO of New Zealand Cricket.
Taylor mentioned that he told CEO Justin Vaughan that Stokes was an exceptional young cricketer and had interest in playing for the Black Caps. Vaughan proposed that Stokes could play in the domestic circuit and see how he fares. Taylor, however, wanted Stokes to be offered more than having to start from the bottom, and eventually, the deal was not sealed.
He (Stokes) was 18 or 19 and very much a Kiwi – Ross Taylor on Ben Stokes
“He (Stokes) was 18 or 19 and very much a Kiwi,’’ Taylor wrote in his autobiography ‘Black & White’. “Over a Guinness, I asked him if he wanted to come and play in New Zealand. He was keen so I sent a message to New Zealand Cricket CEO Justin Vaughan saying this guy Stokes was a really good young cricketer and interested in playing for New Zealand.’’
“Vaughan replied along the lines that he could start playing domestic cricket and we’d see where it went. I went back saying we’d have to offer him more than that because he wouldn’t be interested if it meant starting on the bottom rung of the ladder. Obviously, it didn’t come to anything,” the 38-year-old further wrote.
Taylor said that Stokes was sincere about playing for the Kiwis but the board did not act quickly and decisively. He added that they had to give the all-rounder the assurances, which Vaughan was not prepared to do. Stokes, however, always seemed to be destined to play for the Three Lions, as he himself said, his long-term ambition was “to play for England when I’m older. I call myself an Englishman now.’’
Stokes moved to England at the age of 12 with his father Gerard Stokes, who got a professional league coaching contract in Cumbria. Stokes soon joined Durham academy and took giant strides to get to the senior team in no time. He is currently the captain of the England Test team.