England Test skipper Ben Stokes is set to join the bandwagon of sportspersons to have a documentary about their life and career.
Titled "Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes", the documentary will showcase the highs and lows of an eventful career for the all-rounder, right from being hit for four sixes by Carlos Brathwaite in the 2016 T20 World Cup final to leading England to the 2019 Cricket World Cup victory on home soil and the Headingley Test miracle.
The documentary further focuses on Stokes' battle with mental health, which caused him to take a break from the game for four months, giving the viewers an in-depth look into what the all-rounder went through mentally apart from dealing with the demise of his father Ged in 2020.
Renowned director Sam Mendes features on-screen to discuss the highs and lows of Stokes' life and career across a series of interviews.
In a select virtual media interaction, Stokes revealed it wasn't that hard for him to be vocal about his emotions in the documentary as he was motivated about the chance to show his real self to the world.
"When I decided that it is something that I need to do in terms of making a documentary, I specifically said I don't want this to be a documentary where it is all about making myself look good. This is an opportunity for me to show people like who actually I am because I think very rarely that sportsmen are able to do that.
"Sportsmen are painted a picture by what people see them on TV by playing or in media or in conferences and stuff like that. It is very rare that you see them in their own space and in their own comfortable environment. But I felt the responsibility and was clear that everything is going to be there. Not just to maybe look good, because I have had so many things in my career, not just in cricket but also from the personal life.
"Why I felt like sharing with people is because if I didn't do that, people would be like 'Why hasn't he spoken about that?' Such a public thing, from the T20 World Cup to Bristol to the break I took for mental health. If I didn't cover that, I wouldn't have been doing any justice. I just wanted to make sure that everything was covered in the documentary as much as it could be."
Stokes further spoke about how 'Phoenix from the Ashes', which means to emerge stronger and smarter from a catastrophe, means a lot for him and represents the essence of his life, making it an apt choice to be the title of his documentary.
"I guess the reason behind it is like throughout my personal and cricket life, it's sort of like how you can come back from those kinds of things. Not letting certain moments define you and as you go forward, it can help you define where you are in the future if that makes sense. When you come down, how you are going to get back out of it and how you get yourself out of the problem that you are in."
Rising like a phoenix from the Ashes moment came for Stokes when he led England to winning the 2019 Cricket World Cup final at home, after suffering setbacks in the form of 2016 T20 World Cup final and negativity around the fight near a nightclub in Bristol in 2017, where he was eventually cleared of affray charges, which has been given a significant share in the documentary.
Stokes remarked that learnings from those two incidents gave him the strength to overcome the setbacks he suffered on and off the field.
"One thing that I have learnt is that as good as great moments are successes, failures are something that you can either learn to stay on top of you or hold you down. Or you let those failures or not-so-good times inspire you to be better or to overcome them.
"I am not a person to let me hold anything down or define me. Failures are just a part of your life. They will come in personal life or professional career, whatever that maybe. But you just got a way to overcome them and not let them define you or hold you down and keep yourself up."