Ben Stokes would make an excellent England captain and could "solve the puzzle" of combining being all-rounder with leadership duties.

That is the view of former England star Andrew Flintoff, who himself had difficulty in balancing the same responsibilities with the national side.

Stokes, who is Test skipper Joe Root's second in command, has had a huge influence across all three formats and Flintoff has no doubt he could take on the top job.

"There'll be the argument where people say that all-rounders don't make good captains," Flintoff told talkSPORT.

"We've tried it before, 'look at that Flintoff, look at [Ian] Botham' – everyone will get labelled that they can't do it if you're an all-rounder.

"I'm sure that Ben will be thinking, 'I'd love a go at that, I'd love a chance to captain England'. But he's vice-captain, he's obviously got the respect of all the players, his current captain, his coaching staff.

"Why can't Ben Stokes be good? He's done everything else, he almost single-handedly won a World Cup final, he's won Test matches on his own. He's a leader in the dressing room, he's involved in all the tricky situations in games.

"At some point he'll get a go at being England captain and he just might be the one who solves the puzzle of being an all-rounder and doing the job well. 

"One thing I would say is, sometimes as an all-rounder and being that influential within a team you can put a bit too much pressure on yourself and that's the only thing he's got to be wary of."

Elite sport is gradually returning to our screens amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Germany's Bundesliga, the UFC and the NRL were among the first top-level events to forge a route back last month after pausing due to the global crisis.

A clutch of Europe's other top football leagues, cricket, motorsport and the United States' major competitions all have designs on behind-closed-doors resumptions in the near future, too, which could create a significant backlog of crucial fixtures.

One positive is that sports fans might now be treated to a number of colossal match-ups back-to-back on the same day at some point over the coming months.

That prospect gives us the opportunity to reflect on five similar occasions with the greatest sporting days since the turn of the century - including one exactly a year ago.

 

JULY 23, 2000

The US had a day to remember as two of their most prominent stars bolstered their still burgeoning reputations with big victories on foreign soil.

The paths of Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong have subsequently diverged a little, however.

Woods became the youngest player to complete golf's career grand slam with a record-breaking victory at The Open in 2000, while Armstrong wrapped up a second straight Tour de France title.

The American duo stood at the top of the world, yet history will recall Armstrong's achievements rather differently now he has been stripped of each of his seven successive yellow jerseys for doping.

Woods at least maintained his high standards and held all four major titles after the 2001 Masters, winning again at Augusta as recently as last year.

FEBRUARY 1, 2004

Two more sporting greats shared the same special page in the calendar early in 2004.

It was a long day for anyone who took in both Roger Federer's performance in Melbourne's Australian Open final and Tom Brady's Super Bowl display in Houston, but they were duly rewarded.

Twenty-time grand slam champion Federer had won just one major before facing down Marat Safin in Australia, also becoming the ATP Tour's top-ranked player for the first time. He stayed at number one for a record-shattering 237 weeks.

Brady similarly then doubled his tally of Super Bowl rings by delivering a second triumph in three years for the Patriots, in what was a classic encounter against the Carolina Panthers.

Brady threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns, before Adam Vinatieri's field goal secured a 32-29 win with four seconds remaining.

AUGUST 4-5, 2012

One would struggle to find a greater array of star-studded athletes of various sports than those who congregated in London across the penultimate weekend of the 2012 Olympic Games.

On the Saturday evening, at the Aquatics Centre, swimming prepared to say goodbye to its greatest name. Michael Phelps and the United States won the 4x100m medley, clinching his 18th gold medal in what appeared set to be his final race.

Indeed, Phelps confirmed his retirement following the Games, only to return in predictably dominant fashion in 2016.

Across the city that same night, Team GB athletes were capping a stunning run of medals that would see the day dubbed "Super Saturday". There were six home golds in all, including big wins for Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah in quick succession.

The drama only continued the next day, too, as Andy Murray finally sealed a Wimbledon win over Federer in the tennis event, while Usain Bolt lit up London Stadium in the 100m.

JUNE 1, 2019

It is 12 months to the day since another epic sporting stretch, one that concluded in stunning fashion with one of boxing's great modern upsets.

Rugby union and football each had their respective turns in the spotlight earlier, with Saracens following up their European Champions Cup success - a third in four years - by retaining the Premiership title with victory over Exeter Chiefs.

In Madrid, two more English teams were in action as Liverpool edged past Tottenham in the Champions League final.

But as Sarries and the Reds celebrated, focus turned towards Madison Square Garden where Anthony Joshua was expected to make light work of Andy Ruiz Jr, a replacement for Jarrell Miller following a failed drugs test.

The heavyweight title match did not go to script, however, as Ruiz floored Joshua four times and forced a stoppage to claim his belts, albeit only until the rematch where the Briton saved face.

JULY 14, 2019

These crazy spectacles have largely seen sport spread throughout the day, but three sets of eyes were required to keep up with the action on an epic afternoon last July.

With England hosting and then reaching the Cricket World Cup final, the scene-stealing decider fell on the same day as the Wimbledon men's final and the British Grand Prix, ensuring the United Kingdom was the focus of the sporting world.

The cricket started off several hours before either the tennis or the F1 but still managed to outlast its rival events, with Ben Stokes determined to put on a show as England won via a dramatic Super Over at the end of a nine-hour saga against New Zealand.

Novak Djokovic was battling Stokes for attention as he was taken all the way by that man Federer at the All England Club before finally prevailing 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 13-12 (7-3) in the tournament's longest singles final.

The respective classics made the British GP, completed earlier in the day, something of an afterthought - but not for Lewis Hamilton, who claimed a record sixth victory.

Ben Stokes is a "freakish" talent and a great team player, according to England team-mate Dom Bess.

Stokes has produced a string of excellent displays for his country across multiple formats, cementing his place among the sport's elite stars.

Having helped England to victory at the Cricket World Cup on home soil last year, he was the hosts' standout performer in the Ashes, scoring 441 runs.

Bess, who made his international bow at Test level in 2018, is a firm admirer of the swashbuckling all-rounder, citing Stokes' work ethic and willingness to lead by example as key.

"I've watched him train, not just him but [all] the senior boys, how they train, how they go about things, is a different level," he told Stats Pefrorm.

"For me and the youngsters it's amazing to see because we now see how the best in the world do it.

"To see how he [Stokes] goes about it is freakish. He always works hard but the big thing as well is he's very much a team man. I think that rubs off really well on other blokes.

"And then to have that consistency, when people aren't watching, you're doing it genuinely for your side and helping people out, it's a little thing but it goes a long way

"If you watched him for three, four training sessions you'd see how consistent he is and that's something I really look up to.

"The things he's done in training, his confidence, his belief, then actually how he goes about it and performs is phenomenal.

"It's never about himself, it's always about the side, which is crucial as well."

Stokes was named the leading cricketer in the world by Wisden last month.

Ben Stokes was the only man who could feasibly have been named the leading cricketer in the world for 2020 by Wisden.

That is the view of former South Africa and Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford, who now leads Ireland.

Stokes ended Virat Kohli's three-year reign in possession of the honour when he was handed the award in April following a stunning 2019 for the England all-rounder.

The 28-year-old helped his country to Cricket World Cup success on home soil.

Stokes was also outstanding in a 2-2 Ashes series draw in which he produced one of the all-time great innings to seal victory in the third Test, scoring 135 not out to see England home by one wicket at Headingley.

"I can't see how [Stokes] couldn't be the recipient of the award," Ford told Stats Perform.

"He's just such a great entertainer, the attitude he shows on the field is just such a fantastic example for any cricketer. It's just a never-say-die attitude.

"At times, the team could be going through a really tough day, somehow he still seems to be enjoying that toughness. It's a freakish type of quality.

"There's a huge excitement for any cricket fan to watch this great entertainer. I mean, who doesn't want to watch batting and entertaining?

"And in the last year he's played these fantastic innings, he's done it before this last year, but in particular this last year he's been fantastic.

"Every single team in the world would want him to be playing for them, it's as simple as that."

Ben Stokes has vowed England will produce showstopping performances when cricket returns - even if the stands are empty.

After last year's Cricket World Cup and Headingley Ashes heroics, all-rounder Stokes and England would have been a hot ticket this year, and they were looking forward to a home series against West Indies.

A three-Test series in June has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but there are hopes it could take place later in the year.

It seems inevitable the matches will be played behind closed doors, however, if they happen at all.

Asked whether the absence of spectators could mean a competitive edge being diminished, Stokes said: "No, I don't think so whatsoever.

"If you think about it, we're walking out to represent our country, we've got the Three Lions on our chest and there's a game in front of us for us to win.

"Whether that's in front of nobody or like we're used to in front of a full crowd, I don't think it's going to take that competitive side away.

"It's just going to be a completely different scenario for us to get our head around, that there isn't going to be the atmosphere or the cheering that we're used to when we're playing an international game.

"We would do anything to get cricket back on the TVs and for people to follow and watch, and if that means we have to play in front of nobody then so be it."

Stokes, who said he has never run more than eight kilometres in a single stretch before, was setting out to complete a half-marathon on Tuesday to raise money for NHS Charities Together and Chance To Shine.

He is waiting for the green light to return to cricket training, and eventually the go-ahead to return to the field of play for a resumption of competition.

Like everybody with an interest in cricket, he is waiting to hear from the powers-that-be.

Stokes told BBC Radio 5 Live: "There's always plans being put in place and spoken about, but we're still not 100 per cent sure on what's going to happen and when's that going to happen.

"Everybody's main concern at the moment when these chats are happening is the safety and wellbeing of everybody, because at the end of the day that is the most important thing to us as players and the ECB [England and Wales Cricket Board] as a business.

"They're not going to push anything until everybody is satisfied they can operate without having to worry that people are going to be exposed or put in danger to anything.

"Cricket is just a sport and the health, safety and wellbeing of everybody involved, not just in the team but around the cricket community, is the most important thing right now."

Alex Albon came out on top in a titanic tussle with Charles Leclerc to win the virtual Dutch Grand Prix, while England cricketer Ben Stokes was able to celebrate despite finishing 13th.

Leclerc had won the previous two races but saw his streak come to an end in the latest round of Formula One's Esports series on Sunday.

The Ferrari driver was involved in a see-saw battle around the famous Interlagos circuit in Brazil, a switch of venue required with the Zandvoort track in the Netherlands not available.

Eventually Albon sealed glory for Red Bull, while Leclerc suffered further disappointment when a three-second penalty relegated him down to third place, meaning a promotion for George Russell.

"I was shaking afterwards. I had so much adrenaline going through my body," Albon told Sky Sports F1. "I feel more scared driving a simulator than the real thing - the pressure was unbelievable."

Leclerc was not too disappointed to have missed out on a hat-trick, saying: "I knew I had the penalty, but after that it was about having fun. I really enjoyed this race."

The other battle of interest in the field turned out to be less eventful, however.

Stokes - who had previously competed in the Australian GP - comfortably finished ahead of his international team-mate Stuart Broad, the latter coming home in 17th at the end of his virtual race debut.

As for the real Formula One season, the coronavirus-hit campaign is hoping to finally begin in Austria in early July.

Stuart Broad has laid down the marker for England team-mate Ben Stokes ahead of the cricket stars competing in the Formula One Virtual Grand Prix on Sunday.

Broad and Stokes will take to the track along with professional drivers including Charles Leclerc and Alex Albon, plus Italy footballer Alessio Romagnoli, for a virtual race on the Interlagos course in Brazil.

Paceman Broad will be racing for Scuderia AlphaTauri, while Stokes will be competing alongside Albon for Red Bull.

But despite having practised alongside his team-mate this week, Broad has no intention of giving Stokes an easy ride on Sunday.

"I'm taking part in the Virtual GP this weekend at Interlagos, Brazil, racing for Scuderia AlphaTauri," Broad said in a video on F1's official Twitter account.

"I vow to do the team proud and when I say proud, that doesn't mean bring points home, it means to beat Ben Stokes – my England cricket team-mate.

"There's a good rivalry on this track, we've been training hard this week, getting in about 100 laps a day.

"We've been learning off each other about different strategies and stuff but when the race starts, battle is on, Stokesy!"

The Formula One season has yet to get under way due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with the first track action set to take place in Austria in early July.

Ben Stokes has described Australia legend Steve Smith as both "strange" and a "genius".

The two are international rivals, with England all-rounder Stokes on the opposite side of the bitter Ashes divide.

However, they are team-mates with the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League and Stokes sees the same qualities in Smith whether he is playing with him or against him.

"He is still strange to play against and he's still strange to play with, and the best thing about it is that he admits it, he knows it," Stokes told the Rajasthan Royals Podcast.

"But I feel to be a genius you have to be a bit strange and you know he's certainly both.

"Even though he plays for Australia, biggest rivals of England, you've just got to hold your hands up sometimes to players like that and say, 'Yes, you're on a different level when it comes to batting.'"

Smith enjoyed a stunning Ashes series in England last year, scoring 774 runs in four matches at an average of 110.57.

Stokes was the hosts' star performer, his 441 runs coming at an average of 55.12, but he considers himself a fundamentally different type of batsman to Smith, who he says is "on all the time".

"I could never be like that," said Stokes. "Personally, I could not think about cricket in the way that Steve does when it comes to batting.

"Obviously, he's on all the time. That's why he averages 60 [62.84] after whatever he does in Test cricket. But that's not for me. It is for him, [and] who's to say who is right or wrong."

Pat Cummins has revealed how a difficult team meeting the day after Ben Stokes' Headingley heroics helped Australia get their Ashes campaign back on track in 2019.

After victory at Edgbaston in the series opener was followed by a draw at Lord's, Australia appeared set to retain the urn when they seized control of the third Test, bowling their rivals out for just 67 on the second day.

Set an unlikely 359 to win in Leeds, England's hopes looked to be over when they slipped to 286-9. However, aided by last man Jack Leach, Stokes smashed the hosts to an astonishing one-wicket victory.

The all-rounder finished up on 135 not out, though only after surviving a strong lbw shout against Nathan Lyon, who had spilled a simple run-out out opportunity to dismiss Leach from the previous delivery.

As shown in the Amazon Prime documentary 'The Test: A New Era for Australia's Team', head coach Justin Langer called the squad together the following day to watch back footage of the fourth day's play, a move Cummins thought was a risk as emotions were still running high.

The fast bowler told the Guardian: "The feeling around the group was, ‘What's he (Langer) doing? He's got this one way off'.

"I remember getting the message and I thought, ‘C'mon, we’ve all gone through this, just give us a day off.' 

"Everyone had played it over in their head a hundred times that night. I just remember thinking it's better if we sleep on it, have a good day off, forget about it, and come together once we've all mellowed down a little bit.

"It was literally 15 hours after the last ball, so emotions were still high. That was the context of the meeting, everyone was still hurting."

Australia went on to win the next match in Manchester and while England claimed the finale at The Oval, a 2-2 result made sure the tourists' grip on the Ashes remained.

"We all left that meeting thinking, 'You know what, if we did the same thing a hundred times over, we'd win 99 times out of 100'," Cummins continued.

He [Stokes] just had a day out, played incredibly well. We had a couple of chances we missed but, do you know what, in the end it was just that last bit where someone had a day out and it came off."

Jofra Archer has revealed he would have needed time off had England failed to win the 2019 Cricket World Cup final, admitting: "I take losses really, really hard".

Hosts England edged out New Zealand in last year's showpiece at Lord's, claiming the trophy for the first time having hit more boundaries than their opponents after the two teams could not even be split by a Super Over.

It was Archer who held his nerve with the ball in a tense finish to proceedings, conceding just a single from the final delivery as Martin Guptill was run out trying to complete the second run that would have sealed victory for the Black Caps.

The pace bowler had needed to recover from a difficult start to the Super Over, however. His first attempted delivery was called a wide, while Jimmy Neesham then hit him for six as the Kiwis lowered their initial target of 16 down to three from the last two balls.

Yet Archer restricted Neesham and then Guptill at the death, much to his relief.

The 25-year-old was born in Barbados and had only qualified to represent England earlier in 2019, making him a late addition to captain Eoin Morgan's one-day squad prior to the tournament on home soil.

Joining Sky Sports' coverage as they showed a full repeat of the final, Archer said: "To be honest, the most relieving thing is that we won.

"There was a lot of controversy before I started - if I was the reason we lost, I don't think it would have gone down too well. I would probably have asked to take a month or two off from cricket, I don't know.

"I take losses really, really hard, so I don't know what losing a World Cup final would have done to me."

Jos Buttler also joined Archer and Sky pundits Rob Key and Nasser Hussain to view the closing stages of the game, with the wicketkeeper witnessing again the moment he broke the stumps to dismiss Guptill.

Asked to remember how he felt at the time, Buttler recalled: "The 30 seconds or a minute from taking the bails off to all of us running around, that is the most incredible feeling. It's pure elation really."

Ben Stokes also made an appearance during the re-run - and explained how he initially tried to talk Morgan out of the plan to send him back out alongside Buttler to bat in the Super Over.

The duo, who had shared a 110-run partnership earlier in proceedings as England matched New Zealand's total of 241, managed to take 15 off Trent Boult.

"When Morgs told me [I would be batting again], I said, 'I reckon Jos and J-Roy (Jason Roy)', because of how well Jason had played during the whole World Cup," Stokes – who was named man of the match after making a pivotal 84 not out in England's innings – said. 

"But as soon as he said, 'We want a right-hand, left-hand combination', I was like, 'Right, I have to get out of my emotions right now, go clear my head and get my head back on starting all over again."

Ben Stokes admitted all those involved with the England team will never forget what happened at Headingley in 2019 after he re-watched the dramatic conclusion to the third Ashes Test.

With the global coronavirus crisis shutting down the cricket schedule, Stokes and Test captain Joe Root joined Sky Sports pundits Rob Key and Nasser Hussain to view the final stages of the famous game against Australia last August.

As the footage played out in full, the all-rounder provided a unique insight into what was going through his mind as he dragged his side to an improbable one-wicket triumph, aided by one not out from number 11 Jack Leach.

Stokes, meanwhile, finished up unbeaten on 135 as the hosts reached a victory target of 359, an astonishing achievement considering they had been nine down in their second innings with 73 runs still required.

"It's always going to be great memories, one of the great days – not just out on the field but memories we will always have together as a group," Stokes said on Sky Sports after the moment was aired of him hitting the winning boundary through the covers.

"The changing room is sacred as a cricketer – that evening after this day was just sensational.

"Us, as a group of players, the support group and team management, will always be able to look back at that day, on the field with what happened and then also memories we created in the changing room. It's awesome, so good."

Both Stokes and Root admitted they were sweating while taking in the action despite already knowing the outcome, though the former had to look away at the moment when Australia missed the chance to run out Leach with two runs needed.

Nathan Lyon had been unable to claim the throw but thought he had redeemed himself with a loud lbw shout in the same over, only for umpire Joel Wilson to turn down the appeal. The tourists had already used up their final review too, denying them the opportunity to challenge a decision that would have been overturned with the aid of DRS.

"Joel Wilson will always have a special place in my heart for that moment," Root joked.

Stokes, however, remained convinced it was always missing, adding: "Going down leg, mate. It doesn't spin."

Asked to recall his thoughts immediately after the victory, skipper Root - who contributed 77 in the successful chase - replied: "Relieved. Extremely proud of Ben as well.

"The journey he had been on the year before, for him to be the centre of everything was perfect for him. He's a massive part of the team and the dressing room and I couldn't have been prouder of him."

Australia lost in Leeds but still went on to retain the Ashes in the next game, beating their rivals at Old Trafford. The series finished 2-2, England victorious in the final Test at The Oval.

Ben Stokes has been named the leading cricketer in the world for 2020 by Wisden.

Stokes ends India batsman Virat Kohli's three-year reign in possession of the honour and becomes the first Englishman since fellow all-rounder Andrew Flintoff to be considered the best player in the global game by the esteemed publication.

The body of work amassed by Stokes over the course of an outstanding 2019 made him an obvious frontrunner for such recognition.

He top-scored with an unbeaten 84 as England took the World Cup final into a super over, where Stokes and Jos Buttler scored 15 before the hosts won on the boundary count back rule at Lord's.

Remarkably, that was not Stokes' finest hour of the English summer, as he went on to score 135 not out to seal an enthralling one-wicket win over Australia in the fourth Ashes Test at Headingley – an innings to rank alongside the all-time greats in cricket's longest format.

Jofra Archer, another standout performer in England's World Cup and Ashes campaigns was named as one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year for 2019, along with Australia duo Marnus Labuschagne and Pat Cummins.

Labuschagne's introduction to the series came as a concussion substitute when Steve Smith was struck by a brutish Archer bouncer and he went on to make the number three position his own, averaging 112 in the Australian summer that followed.

Cummins underlined his status as the number one pace bowler in the world with 29 wickets against England in an urn-retaining 2-2 draw.

That is a standing Archer can certainly aspire to, having claimed 55 wickets across all formats in his breakthrough international year.

Wisden's five cricketers of 2019 were rounded out by Simon Harmer, the Essex spinner whose 83 wickets gave him 12 more scalps than any other bowler on the way to County Championship glory, and Ellyse Perry.

Perry was Australia's leading run-scorer (378) and wicket-taker (15) in the 2019 Women's Ashes and was also named the leading women's player in the world.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell is the leading T20 cricketer.

Three weeks after he had hoped to be starring in Formula One's Australian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc saw the chequered flag confirm a virtual victory in Melbourne.

In the second event of F1's Virtual Grand Prix Series - an Esports tournament filling the gap while the real thing is suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic - FDA Hublot Esports driver Leclerc delivered a dominant performance.

Leclerc, who won back-to-back races in Belgium and Italy during his debut season with Ferrari in 2019, was on pole and never looked troubled around Albert Park, winning after 29 laps.

Renault's Christian Lundgaard was second, with Williams' George Russell finishing third, denying Arthur Leclerc a place on the podium alongside his brother.

"It was unbelievably hard," Charles Leclerc said.

"We are sitting on a chair so there's not even the g-force we have in a real car.

"But I'm sweating like crazy. The muscles are not hurting but [with] the concentration and everything I've been sweating a lot."

Having seen singer Liam Payne, once of One Direction, struggle during the first race of the series, an early crash left England all-rounder Ben Stokes playing catch-up.

Stokes would finish 18th out of 18 drivers, one spot behind three-time F1 race winner Johnny Herbert.

"It's the taking part that counts...it's what I always tell my kids," Stokes wrote on Twitter.

Former F1 world champion Jenson Button finished 12th and had a better time of it than Lando Norris, who was unable to take his place on the grid due to technical difficulties.

"I pressed to join the race and it just said, 'Sorry, you're not allowed to join the race'," Norris revealed on Twitch in a chat with Max Verstappen.

Upon learning of Norris' struggles, Red Bull's Verstappen replied: "Yeah, I will never join that."

It is April 3, 2016. Carlos Brathwaite is on strike and there is one over to go in the ICC World Twenty20 final in Calcutta.

West Indies require 19 runs to win a see-saw final that has ebbed and flowed like the nearby Hooghly River. Having recovered from a shocking start, England have a first limited-overs international trophy seemingly within touching distance.

They battled back from 23-3 to post 155-9. Having top-scored with 54, Joe Root claimed two of three early wicket to fall in West Indies' reply with his occasional off-spin.

Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo put on a 73 for the fourth wicket, yet when Andre Russell and Darren Sammy both fell to David Willey in the space of three deliveries, England were the team in charge.

After Chris Jordan managed to deny the well-set Samuels from claiming the strike at the end of the penultimate over, Ben Stokes was tasked with seeing the job through.

His previous two overs in the game had gone for eight and nine runs respectively – combine those two together and it would still be enough for Eoin Morgan’s side to be crowned champions.

Brathwaite, however, has other ideas…

 

BALL ONE: WHAT A START!

When you need so many off so few, an early maximum quickly heaps the pressure back on the bowler. 

Stokes appears to aim for a yorker but only serves up a half-volley instead, one he's shoved down leg so far that Brathwaite simply has to help the ball on its way, depositing it over the boundary at backward square leg with a flick of the wrists.

A gift. An absolute gift. Stokes should have sent it down with a bow on. West Indies now need just 13 from five.

BALL TWO: IT'S UP, UP, UP AND OUTTA HERE!

Straighter – but still in the slot from Stokes. Brathwaite manoeuvres his front foot out of the way to clear space for the bat to come through and send this one much straighter down the ground – and several metres back into a now delirious crowd inside Eden Gardens.

Stokes pulls a face in response to suggest he either feels he was not too far off target or he's just eaten something that's way too hot. Either way, he's hurting. The once-taxing equation is now down to a seriously manageable sum of seven from off four. 

Can England somehow claw this back?

BALL THREE: GOING, GOING, GONE!

No. Braithwaite does it again as the noise levels inside the ground rise even higher.

It's a similar stroke to the last maximum, only this time the right-hander manages to send his home run over long off. There is a brief moment after it departs the bat that you wonder if it is going to clear the fielder, like a golfer who initially fears he's taken the wrong club and could end up in the water. In the end, though, the man in the deep just watches it sail over him.

West Indies require just one to win and the rest of the squad are now off their feet out of the dugout and ready to start celebrating. 

BALL FOUR: WEST INDIES WIN! WEST INDIES WIN!

Forget knocking it into a gap to pinch a single. Brathwaite winds up again as he gets another ball on his pads, allowing him to finish the job in style.

As it sails into the sky to such an extent towards mid wicket that air traffic control may need to get involved to help find a landing spot, the hero of the over stretches out his arms as team-mates rush out to the middle. What initially seemed a seriously tough challenge completed with room to spare.

"Carlos Brathwaite ​– remember the name!" Ian Bishop booms on commentary. Few who have witnessed it – whether live at the ground or on television – will forget it, least of all poor Stokes.

West Indies complete one of the most stunning heists in limited-overs cricket to be crowned T20 champions for a second time.

Ben Stokes must have endured nightmares over this day four years ago, when Carlos Brathwaite smashed West Indies to T20 World Cup glory in such dramatic fashion.

Gregg Popovich also has bad memories of April 3, having been ejected only 63 seconds into the San Antonio Spurs' NBA clash with the Denver Nuggets last year.

Lionel Messi scored two penalties when Barcelona beat Milan to reach the Champions League semi-finals on this day back in 2012.

We take a look back at April 3 in sporting history.

 

2016 - 'Remember the name' - Brathwaite goes berserk

Stokes has had plenty to celebrate in the past year, but the England all-rounder endured a horror show at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Windies all-rounder Brathwaite was the star of the show, blasting Stokes for four sixes off the first four balls of the final over to ensure his side became the first to win two World T20 titles.

Commentator and former West Indies bowler Ian Bishop belted out "remember the name" when Brathwaite sealed a stunning victory, having needed 19 off the final over.

While Stokes has gone on to better things, he will certainly not have forgotten the name of Brathwaite. 

 

2019 - Off you pop

Some spectators may not have taken their seats when Spurs coach Popovich was given his marching orders 12 months ago.

He took exception to a non-foul call and was issued a technical by official Mark Ayotte before being handed another by David Guthrie just over a minute after tip-off in an encounter with Denver.

The Nuggets went on to win 113-85 three nights after Popovich was also ejected during a loss to the Sacramento Kings.

2012 - Milestone for Messi as Milan crash out

There have been many days when Messi achieved a milestone and his half-century of Champions League goals came eight years ago to the day.

The Barcelona superstar made no mistake from the penalty spot twice as the Catalan giants beat Milan 3-1 to reach the last four.

There were no goals in the first leg at San Siro, but Messi proved to the match-winner, with Andres Iniesta netting the third. Chelsea ended Barca's run at the semi-final stage, though, winning 3-2 on aggregate.

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