His latest apology was to the people of New Zealand for one of the most outrageous sporting flukes that contributed to England winning the Cricket World Cup at the expense of the country of his birth.
Stokes had already broken New Zealand hearts by steering England out of early strife in the final at Lord’s, giving his adopted nation a fighting chance of victory heading into the last over.
His mighty six over midwicket left England needing nine runs to win with three balls left. Then it happened. Smashing the next ball deep into the leg side, he set off to run two and ensure he kept the strike. As he sprinted back to the striker’s end, he dived and stretched his bat out in a desperate bid to reach the crease. The ball, thrown in by Martin Guptill, struck Stokes’ outstretched bat and deflected 90 degrees, rolling all the way to the boundary in front of the famous pavilion at Lord’s. It was another six for Stokes two ran, as well as four for the boundary. He held up both hands in an apologetic gesture to New Zealand’s players.
“I said to Kane Williamson, ‘I’ll be apologising for that for the rest of my life’,” said Stokes, who was born in Christchurch and moved to England when he was 12.