Jonathan Agnew: ‘I told Ben Stokes’ mum that he was a national hero’

BBC radio commentator Jonathan Agnew: Pic: Wikimedia

Cricketing legend Jonathan Agnew has revealed his most memorable moment in a commentary box.

Having been involved in cricket from an early age, 60-year-old Agnew is a veteran of the game and looked back on his career to date – both on and off-the field – in an online Q&A session with UCLAN students.

Agnew’s work has seen him travel all over the world to commentate on cricket but, perhaps surprisingly, you have to look no further than Leeds for his favourite moment behind the mic.

Ben Stokes saving The Ashes for England last year at Headingley was the greatest cricketing moment that I have ever commentated on.

“His mum – who lives in New Zealand – phoned me up whilst I was on my way home that day and I spent 20 minutes telling her what a hero he had become!

Given the iconic games that Agnew has commentated on throughout his career, the choice was never going to be an easy one, with two monumental moments coming last year through the bat of the aforementioned Stokes.

The current talisman of English Cricket, Stokes picked up the BBC Sports Personality of the year award in 2019 and deservedly so having won England the World Cup in a dramatic super-over final victory against New Zealand.

But The Ashes test match victory against bitter rivals Australia just pipped the World cup win for Agnew.

“Each team goes into a super-over with a 50/50 chance of winning and it was incredible to witness a World cup win but when Jack Leach walked out to join Ben Stokes at Headingley,

England still needed 73 wins to save the series. “Their chances were probably less than two per cent and Ben Stokes somehow managed it.

“I absolutely love test cricket. For it to be able to produce something like that so soon after the World cup win – which happened in a one-day international game – was phenomenal.”

Stokes’ efforts on that memorable day at Headingley prevented the Aussies from winning The Ashes outright with the series ending at 2-2, the first time that the series had ended in a draw since 1972.

Sadly for England, the result meant that The Ashes urn remained in the hands of their opponents as Australia were the last of the teams to win a series outright – a 4-0 whitewash in 2017.

So, England and Stokes will travel down under – coronavirus dependent – next year in a bid to bring the trophy back home and we hope to see Jonathan back in the commentary box to commentate on their efforts.