London [UK], Nov 19 : Former England coaches Trevor Bayliss and Andy Flower are among the five coaches who were recognised at the UK Coaching Awards for the role they played in Ben Stokes’ career.
Apart from Bayliss and Flower, Durham coaches John Windows and Geoff Cook, Jon Gibson of Cockermouth CC were named for UK Coaching’s Coaching Chain Award. Stokes’ heroics helped England lift the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup this year.
Flower termed Stokes a ‘once-in-a-generation player’.
“Ben is a once-in-a-generation player and I’m proud to have played a small part in his journey as a cricketer and as a man,” England Cricket Board’s official website quoted Flower as saying.
“I was there for his debuts in limited overs and Test cricket and now I’ve had the pleasure of watching him become a real leader in English sport. There are a huge number of people behind the scenes who have made small contributions to help Ben achieve his potential. We are all proud of him,” he added.
Bayliss, who coached England between 2015 and 2019, said it is always a pleasure to coach an athlete like Stokes.
“It is always a pleasure to coach an athlete like Ben; someone who is so dedicated to improving their craft and will go the extra mile to become the best,” Bayliss said.
“It’s a testament to his coaching pathway that Ben was already an incredibly talented cricketer when I started working with him for England in 2015 and it has been great to watch him develop into one of the world’s best players,” he added.
Stokes is also delighted over his coaches being awarded.
“I’m very proud that my coaches have been honoured with this award from UK Coaching. While athletes take the public accolades for their achievements there are so many people along the way who don’t always get the recognition they deserve,” Stokes said.
“Whether it’s the person who drove me to matches when I was a youngster or the coach who stayed after practice to throw me a few more balls – this award is for them and everyone else who has supported me throughout my career,” he added.
ECB Head of Coach Development, John Neal, congratulated all the coaches as he said: “Congratulations to the five coaches receiving this award. It’s great that UK Coaching are recognising not just those at the very top of the sport, but those who put in so much effort at grassroots and Foundation level as well – much of which can often be overlooked.”
“Coaches and other volunteers are the lifeblood of our sport and have a unique ability to inspire a new generation of cricketers to be their best and reach their full potential, which is certainly something to be celebrated,” he added.