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Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Review, Quotes, Life Lessons, Release Date, and How to Watch Documentary

Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes released today on Amazon Prime Video, the same day the English scored a commanding century against South Africa. This is a story that captures England captain, Ben Stokes’ journey through the ups and downs of his illustrious career.

Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Review: Skip It or Watch It?

I will get straight to the point—The Review. Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Review is not necessarily a must watch documentary. However, it is an important one.

It is skippable in the sense that Ben Stokes’ career is an open book—Humble roots in New Zealand, an upcoming youngster in the England circuit, The Bristol brawl incident, eleven-month court trial & media pressure, Carlos Brathwaite 4 sixes in Kolkata, IPL heroics, the 2019 World Cup final and Headingly heist, finger and knee injuries, his father’s terminal brain cancer, mother’s legal suit against The Sun newspaper for exploiting another personal tragedy, global pandemic, mental health break, and captaincy comeback. In a sense, nothing new is revealed about Ben Stokes. In addition, the picturization and flashback sequences are not the most coherent.

However, it is an important film due to the first-person points of view of Stokes & his family as well as Sam Mendes’ interview with Stokes while he was struggling with his mental health. It was courageous for Stokes to explain what he was going through on such a large platform. Appearances of Joe Root, Stuart Broad, manager Neil Fairbrother, and Stokes’ father adds immense value to the documentary.

Watch It For: The Interview, Highlight Packages, Ben Stokes’ cricket practice videos from U-12 & U-15 cricket, Mark Wood’s comic timing, Joe Root’s heartfelt messages

Don’t Watch it for: The overly dramatic background music

Rating: 3.5/5

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Also Read: 45 Best Sport Movies & Documentaries (Updated 2022) – Hollywood & Bollywood Combined

Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Release Date, How to Watch, Director, Actors

Release Date: August 26, 2022

How To Watch: (Amazon Prime Video Link)

Title Name: Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes

Prime Video Summary: A refreshingly honest film about an extraordinary cricketer. Directors Chris Grubb and Luke Mellows were allowed unprecedented access to Ben’s Life with interviews and insights by Sam Mendes.

Protagonist: Ben Stokes

Major Cast:

  • Teammates: Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer
  • Commentators/Ex-Cricketers: Ian Bishop, Isa Guha, Shane Warne
  • Other: Dean Wilson (journalist), Phil Scott (England’s strength & conditioning coach), Neil Fairbrother (Stokes’ Manager), Vithushan Ehantharajah
  • Family: Clare Stokes (Wife), Gerard Stokes (Father), Deborah Stokes (Mother)

Directed By: Chris Grubb, Luke Mellows

Produced By: Sunil Patel, Sam Mendes, Mark Cole

Length: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Language: English

Embed from Getty Images

7 Life Lessons and Quotes from Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Documentary

Here are some quotes from the documentary that paints a picture of Ben Stokes’ overall personality.

*Spoiler Alert Note: The quotes below are directly from the documentary and related clips in case you are planning to watch the documentary first.

1. Trouble, Trouble, Trouble

Quote: Trouble follows him around

“Trouble follows him around” – Nasser Hussain (clip from old interview)

Context: The Bristol brawl halted Stokes career due to the litigation, investigation, and media tensions that followed. The documentary walks through what Stokes’ family went through at this point. Although he was not found guilty of affray, the media only portrayed the negative side of things. Stokes had already been involved in a few incidents earlier in the England team like punching lockers, getting banned from driving to four speeding tickets, etc., and this incident was almost the nail in the coffin.

Stokes clears up what exactly happened and why he was involved in the incident in the documentary (he was defending his friends from homophobic abuses)

2. Heartbreak at the 2016 T20 World Cup Final

Quotes: That experience would have broken lesser mortals; Makes you even more hungry

“That experience would have broken lesser mortals” – Ian Bishop

“Makes you even more hungry” – Shane Warne

Context: The 2016 T20 World Cup Final would forever be remembered for Ian Bishop’s iconic Remember the Name phrase when describing Carlos Brathwaite’s heroics. On the other end of the spectrum was Stokes, absolutely gutted. How he came back from the lows of 2016 to the highs of 2019s is an inspirational journey for all.

Embed from Getty Images

3. Embrace Failure

Quotes: Setbacks are your biggest teachers; Rather than fearing failure. Embrace it.

“Setbacks are your biggest teachers” – Ben Stokes

“Rather than fearing failure. Embrace it” – Ben Stokes

Context: The 2016 T20 World Cup final was a disappointment. However, it is portrayed in the film that the 2017 Bristol incident was the most impactful turning point in Ben Stokes’ career and life. He became a more mature individual, grew closer to family, and learned which people who could trust. At this point, he almost quit cricket and had to dive deep to figure out what used to drive him to give it his all.

4. Mental Health Awareness

Quote: This can happen to someone who is perceived as invincible; I noticed how emotionless I was

“This can happen to someone who is perceived as invincible” – Joe Root

“Honestly I could have seen him never play again” – Stuart Broad

“I noticed how emotionless I was” – Ben Stokes

Context: The interview was conducted two weeks after Ben Stokes’ suffered his major panic attack and decided to take a break from cricket. Stokes looked visibly fatigued and recalled a panic attack he suffered which included shortness of breath.

Mental health, especially in sport, is an important topic and can occur to anybody regardless of his or her stature.

5. The Larger-Than-Life Hero

Quote: His life is a story you could not script; Trauma, grief, strength, and defiance

“His life is a story you could not script” – Sam Mendes

“He has a bit that one else has…magic…Not many people see the best side of him…I’m just very grateful that I have” – Joe Root

“The film is about loss in the time of lockdown…it’s about trauma and grief, but also strength and defiance.” – Sam Mendes

Context: Rarely has a cricketer in recent memory suffered the ebbs and flows to the extent as Stokes has. He has touched glory with starring roles in World Cup and Ashes victories. On the other hand, he has had to see his father, a former Rugby league player in New Zealand, pass away after a fight with terminal brain cancer.

Yet, he gives it his all in those tireless bowling spells with injured knees or directs a comeback with the bat when there is no hope or takes a catch that only Ben Stokes can – No Way, You Cannot Do That Ben Stokes! He has flaws, he has magic, he is human, he is greatness.

Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Trailer

If you have yet to see this documentary, check out the trailer below.

Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who is the director of Ben Stokes – Phoenix from the Ashes documentary?

Chris Grubb & Luke Mellows is the director of Ben Stokes – Phoenix from the Ashes. Sam Mendes, who also interviews Ben Stokes, is the producer alongside Sunil Patel & Mark Cole.

Where can I watch Ben Stokes Phoenix from the Ashes?

Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes is released in Amazon Prime Video on August 26, 2022 worldwide.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 08/26/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Preview: Can Weakened South Africa Halt This Dominant England Cricket Team?

The England cricket team swept the T20I series 3-0 and are marching towards the T20 World Cup next year.

England had several contributors – the charismatic Sam Curran, determined Jonny Bairstow, and consistent Dawid Malan. For South Africa, Russie Van Der Dussen and George Linde impressed, but the disappointments of a team in transition keep on increasing.

Anyway, before get ahead of ourselves, let us talk about the elephant in the room. This ODI series was supposed to start two days ago, but was CANCELLED due to a positive test and breach over the bio-secure protocols. Everyone has tested negative now, and the tour is on with revised dates, but was a genuine concern for cricket fans and administrators.

Let us move to the ODI series preview. Find out who to watch out and our predictions between South Africa and this dominant England cricket team. COMMENT BELOW WITH YOUR OPINIONS!

Also Read: Series Predictions – Twitter Edition: Can you Do Better?

*Update – The series has since been called off (07/12)

The Batting

Eng: Key Players Rested But England Cricket Have Enough Depth

  • Dawid Malan, ended the T20I series with 99*, 2 MOM awards, and the MOS award, but is not part of the ODI squad. Do not worry—someone named Joe Root will slide into the #3 spot without trouble.
  • Sam Billings and Liam Livingstone have been making their cases for a while without cementing their spots. Is this the series for them?
  • Do not underestimate Jason Roy following low T20I scores. In ODIs, he will definitely make a mark.

SA: Lots Rest on Quinton de Kock and Van der Dussen’s Shoulder

  • South Africa are planning towards the 2023 World Cup and have rested the experienced Faf du Plessis. Hence, captain de Kock and the man-in-form der Dussen would need to do a bulk of the scoring.
  • Janneman Malan scored a 100 vs Australia not too long ago. After the COVID break, he would want to remind people of the promise of his talent.
  • David Miller did not play the T20Is but may be available for the ODIs. If he returns, South Africa will have a a potential middle order of Van der Dussen-Klassen-Miller.

Eng: Woakes and Wood Highlight the Bowling

The Bowling

  • Mark Wood has been excellent in the few opportunities over the past year. With Archer rested and Jordan a T20I specialist, Wood will get opportunities to showcase his talent.
  • Without Sam Curran, Ben Stokes, and an out-of-form Tom Curran, the fast-bowling all-round spot is a concern.
  • England should not miss the rested Jofra Archer because the ever-consistent Chris Woakes is back.

SA: Bowling a Concern for Rabada-less South Africa

  • South Africa failed to defend large scores in the T20Is. With Rabada out with a groin injury, the likes of Ngidi and Nortje will need to rise up to the occasions.
  • George Linde was the find of the T20I series with his finishing touch and miserly left-arm spin. If Linde and Shamsi can tie England in the middle phase, South Africa might have a shot.
  • Just like Miller, Phelukwayo’s return (if available) will be a large boost to this unbalanced South African side.

Also Read: Can Faf Fulfill ABD’s Broken Dream?

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The Broken Dream

Eng: Moeen Ali Again

  • Moeen Ali had earlier committed to all formats but was not given a shot in the T20Is. With England sweeping the series 3-0, he may not be picked again for T20Is. So, this is his only chance to remind the public of his potential.

SA: Will Klassen Show his Klass?

  • Heinrich Klassen burst onto the ODI scene with a marvelous 100 against India, but has not been consistent enough. With Kyle Verreynne as the backup keeper in the squad, Klassen may not get a long window.

Prediction

Verdict: 2-1 England

For the T20I series, my prediction of 3-0 was absolutely spot on. Except it was horrendously off since the bet was on South Africa. 😅

This time, I am going for a more conservative 2-1 win in favor of the England cricket team. England should take the momentum from the T20I series and win the first game. South Africa will come back and tie the series 1-1 before a close finish should seal the deal for the world champions.

Watch out for Van der Dussen and Janneman Malan from South Africa and out-of-the-Fab-Four Joe Root and Liam Livingstone.

Whatever happens, fingers crossed for a COMPLETE series. Regardless of who wins or loses, it is the safety of the players, the trust in the bio-secure environment, and the future of bilateral cricket in the age of COVID that is at stake.

What do you think will be the series result? COMMENT BELOW AND LET US KNOW!

My Starting XI:

These are my starting XI for the first T20I (assuming everyone is available in terms of COVID and injuries).

Eng:

Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan*, Jos Buttler (WK), Sam Billings, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Reece Topley

SA:

Quinton de Kock * (WK), Temba Bavuma, Janneman Malan, Rassie Van der Dussen, Heinrich Klassen, David Miller, George Linde, Andile Phelukwayo, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi

*captain

The Squads

These are the other options in the squads.

Eng: Tom Curran, Olly Stone, Liam Livingstone, Lewis Gregory

SA: Junior Dala, Beuran Hendricks, Keshav Maharaj, Dwaine Pretorius, Lutho Simpala, JJ Smuts, Glenton Stuurman, Kyle Verreynne (WK)

Image Courtesy: Jonny Bairstow – Mcadge, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons