Thu | Jan 18, 2018

Devon Dick: Doing a Ben Stokes

Published:Thursday | April 14, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Recently, there was an episode of Family Feud on Game Show Network hosted by comedian Steve Harvey in which a family reached the 'fast money' round with the possibility of being awarded US $20,000 once the two team members collectively scored 200 points. The first of the two members of the family, playing this round, scored an unusually high 182 points, meaning that the next person only has to score 18 points or 9 per cent of the required total. It was a certain victory; an easy slam dunk. Surprisingly, she scored five zeros and lost the prize. Someone shouted that she was doing a Ben Stokes.

Ben Stokes, English cricketer, all-rounder and finisher, in bowling the final over in the finals of the World T20 championships with West Indies needing 19 runs to win, seemed certain of victory. In fact, 90 per cent of the time when there is such a situation, the bowling side would win. However, Stokes was able to kiss defeat from the face of success when West Indian Carlos Brathwaite hit the first four balls for the maximum score of six runs each. This is unprecedented in a final match in a final over when tensions are high and the stakes even higher. So according to the script, Stokes should have won easily but he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Darren Sammy, West Indies captain of the T20 team, in a post-victory speech used the opportunity of the worldwide audience to chastise his employers about lack of support; incoherent selection policy and lack of uniform. It was said at the wrong time; it was a time to celebrate success; it was the wrong place; he should not wash our dirty linen before a worldwide audience with intent to embarrass. It was a gala moment, not a time to grumble. They produced the bucket of milk and then kicked it over. Sammy was doing a 'Ben Stokes'.

Every moment should have been used to big up West Indians. Sammy could have used the moment to praise selectors and board who believed in him to be captain. Marlon Samuels could lift up his boyhood coach, family, children, friends and fans instead of addressing Shane Warne. These comments left a bitter taste in our mouths. The most glorious moment was dampened by unnecessary griping. To compound the problem some board members responded. The leaders should display class by praising Sammy and his team and not respond to the tasteless comments now. They also were doing a 'Ben Stokes'.




We are having problems resolving our differences. Miss Kitty, the Fluffy Diva, used the local televised show 'Magnum Kings & Queens ...' to ventilate her issues with Yanique, the Curvy Diva. This was not the right place or time, and as the Curvy one said, there was the opportunity for Miss Kitty to visit her dressing room and talk with her. The biblical injunction still applies, 'If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.' But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses' Mt 18: 15-16.

The Stafanie Taylor-led female cricket team which won the women's tournament was dignified in victory and the Under-19 team was gracious in victory. They are worthy of emulation.

After the historic match, Brathwaite spoke glowingly of Stokes and showed sophistication by asking Stokes for his shirt, but Stokes failed to have a drink with Brathwaite. Brathwaite hit Stokes for a fifth six.

- Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of 'The Cross and the Machete', and 'Rebellion to Riot'. Send feedback to columns@