Club cricketer who fired up Ben Stokes
CLUB CRICKETER Steven Reingold played a key role in preparing English all-rounder Ben Stokes for his recordbreaking innings of 258 in the second Test against South Africa.
After batsman Stokes was dismissed by off-spinner Dane Piedt during the first Test last week, 17-year-old Steven interrupted a family holiday in Cape Town to answer an SOS call from England batting coach and Stanmore CC colleague Mark Ramprakash.
The coach wanted an off-spinn er to bowl to England’ s front line stars in the nets and the JFS pupil bowled to seven of the team during an “amazing, dream-like” 40-minute session last Friday.
“To be with 11 famous people who I look up to was absolutely something that doesn’t normally happen,” he said.
Although nerv- ous, Steven even got Yorkshire batsman Joe Root out during the session.
“They concentrate very hard, so you don’t really speak to them. But they’re very nice guys. If you bowl well, they’ll tell you,” Steven added.
Just 48 hours after the net session, Stokes went on to complete his remarkable double century — the fastest-ever by an Englishman.
Steven was too modest to claim any credit for Stokes’s incredible performance: “My mum’s been saying things about Stokes because of his innings, but that wasn’t me.”
Born in South Africa — his cricket-mad family moved to London when he was two — Steven was rooting for the hosts. “That’s where my heart is. When England play we support them, but when they play each other it has to be South Africa.”
Although Steven was at the Newlands ground on the first day of the Test to see the start of Stokes’s innings, he missed its conclusion as he had to fly home for the new school term.
It is not the first time he has been called up for an England practice session, having also bowled to the Asheswinning team in June.
The experiences have encouraged him to consider a future in the game.
He said: “That would be the dream. This has inspired me. They’re the people I look up to.”
Steven also plays for Middlesex under19s and was part of Britain’s silver medalwinning junior cricket squad at the 2013 Maccabiah Games.
Ben Stokes celebrates his double century