Ben Stokes was England’s hero when the Eoin Morgan-led team defeated New Zealand in the finale of the World Cup in 2019.

Stokes could have played for the Kiwis, and Ross Taylor would have gotten the credit had it happened. But the New Zealand board’s decision saw New Zealand-born Ben Stokes play for England and emerge as one of the best all-rounders in international cricket.

In his recently-published book, Ross Taylor Black & White, Taylor revealed that he was playing with Stokes for Durham in 2010. Ben agreed when Taylor asked him if he was interested in playing for New Zealand. Taylor reached out to then NZC CEO Justin Vaughan.

“He was 18 or 19 and very much a Kiwi,’’ Taylor wrote. “I asked about him playing for the Kiwis, and he showed interest. 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.”

However, Vaughan said Stokes should first play domestic cricket in New Zealand before representing the country.

“I told Vaughan that we have to offer him more. Ben Stokes wanted an assurance which Vaughan was not ready to give, and all the talks didn’t give any result.'”

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