World Cup 2019 Final: Overjoyed for Ben but I am still a New Zealand supporter, says Stokes’s fatherNew Zealand fan and resident Gerard Stokes who is the father of England all-rounder Ben had his loyalties stretched to the fullest as the latter brought England their maiden men’s World Cup 2019 trophy in a thriller at Lord’s.advertisement Next India Today Web Desk ChristchurchJuly 15, 2019UPDATED: July 15, 2019 23:34 IST Ben Stokes was adjudged the Man of the Match after England’s thrilling World Cup 2019 victory (AP)HIGHLIGHTSEngland beat New Zealand to win the World Cup 2019 on SundayBen Stokes was adjudged the Man of the Match in the pulsating finalStokes’s parents who are based in New Zealand, had their sporting loyalties stretched during the finalBen Stokes might have won England the World Cup but his Kiwi-origin father Gerard Stokes has admitted that he will remain a New Zealand fan despite being happy for his son’s feat. Gerard, who is long-time Black Caps fan also said that even though New Zealand couldn’t win the trophy, he doesn’t necessarily mind the cup not being shared between the two finalists after the match ended in a tie.”I really am disappointed for the Black Caps; it’s such a shame someone had to walk away without the trophy. Hand on heart, I am overjoyed for Ben and the team, but I am still a New Zealand supporter,” Gerard told 1Newsnow.Ben Stokes was named the Man of the Match for his fighting 84* in the final that brought England close to their target of 242. However, with the scores tied at the end of the 50 overs, the game went into a Super Over which ended up being tied as well. Therefore, England were declared winners as they had hit more boundaries than New Zealand. Gerard doesn’t mind the last part as ‘there’s always got to be a winner in a World Cup'”[A draw] would’ve been nice but there’s always got to be a winner in a World Cup,” he told Newstalk ZB.”The way that Ben batted was a tribute to both teams in the way that they tried so hard to win that cup. He was over the moon being a part of that match and also have an influence on the result as well … the way he played epitomized both teams I think.”advertisementRegarding his stretched loyalties whenever the two teams face each other on the field, Gerard admitted that it’s difficult to maintain the right balance.”I’ve got a lot of friends in England and a lot of friends in the England set-up as well, it’s just a matter of supporting both. It’s quite a difficult balance and doesn’t work most of the time but I give it a go,” said Gerard.Deb Stokes, Ben’s mother also experienced the thrill sitting back home in Christchurch as she ‘cried her eyes out’.”At the end of the game I cried my eyes out,” she said. “I was really disappointed for the Black Caps because they had given so much as well, it would have been great if it could have been a draw.”The Stokes family moved to England when Ben was aged 12 with Gerard earning a rugby league coaching contract in Cumbria. But Gerard and Deb moved back to Christchurch in 2013. Their son, meanwhile, was on his way to attaining cult status in English cricket history.Also Read | Sharing World Cup should be considered if finalists can’t be separated: New Zealand coachAlso Read | England and New Zealand should have been given the World Cup trophy: Cheteshwar PujaraFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAjay Tiwari Tags :Follow World Cup 2019Follow Ben StokesFollow World Cup final
“More children could be among the dead as residents in the area and the Lebanese authorities continue to look for people who are reportedly trapped in the mountains in freezing temperatures and snow,” said Geert Cappelaere, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, in a statement issued Saturday. “Syrian people continue to risk their lives and the lives of their children in a desperate search for safety and shelter,” he added.The tragic incident occurred during a storm Thursday night (18 to 19 January) near the Masna’ border between Lebanon and Syria. The victims were trying to cross an arduous and rugged passage.According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), others in the group, including a pregnant woman, were discovered in time and assisted by nearby residents and the Lebanese Armed Forces and Civil Defense to reach hospitals before they froze to death.Funding constraints challenge assistance efforts – UNICEFIn the statement, Mr. Cappelaere also said that UNICEF has been distributing blankets, warm clothes, and fuel to heat schools to help families cope with the harsh winter in Syria and other countries in the region.However, funding constraints are challenging its ability to continue the assistance.So far, UNICEF has received only half of the funding needed for winter response, and if urgent funding is not received, it will not be able to reach nearly 800,000 children with winter assistance, said the UN agency.Underscoring that the death of the two Syrian children is a “reminder” that much more needs to be done, Mr. Cappelaere calling for an end to brutal conflicts and increased support for vulnerable children.“We have no excuse. We cannot continue failing children.” he said.