Ashes 2023 | 'He Backed Me For A Long Time'- Ollie Pope On Ben Stokes
Pope has lauded Ben Stokes [Twitter]
Newly appointed England Test vice-captain Ollie Pope has credited skipper Ben Stokes for restoring his Test career via constant backing ever since the all-rounder took over the reins last summer.
Pope was at crossroads in his Test career when Stokes and McCullum took over the English Test team at the start of the last summer.
However, the duo immediately handed the coveted No.3 spot to the Surrey lad, and the talented young batsman hasn't looked back since.
Pope was recently named Stokes' deputy for the upcoming one-off Test against Ireland and the all-important Ashes series, which gets underway in Birmingham from June 15.
Speaking to Cricket365 ahead of the 2023 English summer, Pope heaped high praise on the Stokes-McCullum management, adding that he is enjoying the relaxed environment created by the leadership duo.
"That’s probably why I got picked when they (Stokes and Brendon McCullum) came in. He backed me for a long time more than I backed myself, for sure. He’s brought that out of me so now I feel like I’m a good player and he feels like I am too."
He also said:
“I mean he’s a superstar now, you travel the world with him and it doesn’t matter what country we’re in, he’s getting recognized everywhere he goes, but the best thing about him is he’d do anything for his team.”
In the last 12 months, Pope is averaging a healthy 38.52 despite batting at No.3, as opposed to an underwhelming 28.66 in his previous 23 outings.
He will look to emulate the same form this summer against the Aussies.