Full name Benjamin Andrew Stokes
Born June 4, 1991, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Current age 27 years 195 days
Major teams England, Canterbury, Durham, Durham 2nd XI, England Lions, England Under-19s, Melbourne Renegades, Rajasthan Royals, Rising Pune Supergiant
Playing role Allrounder
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
|Test debut||Australia v England at Adelaide, Dec 5-9, 2013 scorecard|
|Last Test||Sri Lanka v England at Colombo (SSC), Nov 23-26, 2018 scorecard|
|ODI debut||Ireland v England at Dublin, Aug 25, 2011 scorecard|
|Last ODI||Sri Lanka v England at Colombo (RPS), Oct 23, 2018 scorecard|
|T20I debut||England v West Indies at The Oval, Sep 23, 2011 scorecard|
|Last T20I||Sri Lanka v England at Colombo (RPS), Oct 27, 2018 scorecard|
|First-class debut||Marylebone Cricket Club v Durham at Abu Dhabi, Mar 29-Apr 1, 2010 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Sri Lanka v England at Colombo (SSC), Nov 23-26, 2018 scorecard|
|List A debut||Surrey v Durham at The Oval, May 15, 2009 scorecard|
|Last List A||Sri Lanka v England at Colombo (RPS), Oct 23, 2018 scorecard|
|T20s debut||Durham v Lancashire at Chester-le-Street, Jun 4, 2010 scorecard|
|Last T20s||Sri Lanka v England at Colombo (RPS), Oct 27, 2018 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|57, 3/30, 42, 1/25||England||v Sri Lanka||Colombo (SSC)||23 Nov 2018||Test # 2329|
|19, 0/9, 0||England||v Sri Lanka||Pallekele||14 Nov 2018||Test # 2326|
|7, 0/22, 62, 1/16||England||v Sri Lanka||Galle||6 Nov 2018||Test # 2324|
|53, 0/24||England||v SL Board XI||Colombo (CCC)||1 Nov 2018||Other|
|31||England||v SL Board XI||Colombo (NCC)||30 Oct 2018||Other|
|26||England||v Sri Lanka||Colombo (RPS)||27 Oct 2018||T20I # 703|
|0/34, 67||England||v Sri Lanka||Colombo (RPS)||23 Oct 2018||ODI # 4058|
|0/27||England||v Sri Lanka||Pallekele||20 Oct 2018||ODI # 4055|
|0/21, 35*||England||v Sri Lanka||Pallekele||17 Oct 2018||ODI # 4054|
|15||England||v Sri Lanka||Dambulla||13 Oct 2018||ODI # 4053|
The great Irish sports writer, Con Houlihan, used to say that every team should have a red head. And it's true that Ben Stokes' combative nature, allied to his powerful frame and outrageous talent, lifted a somewhat diffident England side to another level. Capable of turning games with his batting, his bowling and in the field, Stokes - through his character as much as his deeds - he soon attracted comparisons with Ian Botham. Expectations were huge.
It is his misfortune therefore that for all his great deeds - and he has an extraordinary Test double hundred to his name - he may be most remembered for two incidents he would rather forget. The first came in the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup final in Kolkata. Asked to defend 19 in the last over against West Indies, his attempted yorkers missed the mark by inches resulting in Carlos Brathwaite heaving him for four successive sixes into a sweltering night sky.
The second, and altogether more serious, incident occurred in September 2017. Celebrating an ODI victory over West Indies in Bristol, Stokes became embroiled in a fight outside a club in the early hours of the morning that resulted in a member of the public sustaining a broken eye-socket and Stokes' arrest. A trial in Bristol Crown Court subsequently saw him cleared of the charge of affray - two key witnesses termed Stokes their "hero" and claimed he saved them from homophobic attack - but by then the reputational damage had been done. He had also missed the 2017-18 Ashes tour - a toothless England were beaten 4-0 with Stokes not considered for selection - and been stripped of the team's vice-captaincy.
He could console himself at least in the knowledge that he had the time and the ability to ensure he was remembered for more positive reasons. Within months of his comeback, Stokes had played a key role in England's first whitewash series victory in Asia - not least with spells of fast bowling that coaxed life out of apparently docile surfaces - with Sri Lanka coach, Chandika Hathurusingha, suggesting he was the difference between the teams. Trevor Bayliss, the England coach, also praised Stokes' attitude as "exemplary" and saying he had "learned his lesson."
Stokes, from the moment he made his Durham debut, felt very much a product of the north east of England. He was actually born in Christchurch, New Zealand and came from a rich sporting pedigree with his father, Ged, playing international Rugby League for that country.
His prodigious talent was clear from an early age: he was just 18 when he signed a two-year contract with Durham in December 2009. A true allrounder, he had been quietly developing in the Durham Academy for some time and had already made his one-day debut for Durham that summer, snaring Mark Ramprakash, a quiet destroyer of county attacks from the day he was born, with his third legal delivery in senior cricket. From there he enjoyed a productive time at the Under-19 World Cup, scoring a century against India, before registering a maiden fifty on his first-class debut for Durham in the pink-ball season opener against MCC.
Stokes clearly enjoyed his first full season of Championship cricket, notching up 740 runs at 46.25, but it was in 2011 that he really began to blossom. In April he took 6 for 68 and scored a brilliant hundred that included five sixes in an over against Hampshire, and just over a month later registered his maiden limited-overs ton, cracking 150 not out against Warwickshire in the Clydesdale Bank 40. A broken finger hindered his bowling, but he played for England Lions and made his ODI debut against Ireland in Dublin, going on to play four times against India, albeit with limited impact.
Stokes performed better than many with the bat in a damp 2012 season, making 827 runs at 29.53, and coupled with his 37 wickets at 21.47 it was an excellent return. He was called up to the England Lions squad for the tour of Australia in early 2013 but ended up being sent home with three matches remaining, along with Kent's Matt Coles, after two breaches of discipline. It was a watershed moment. He was rapidly rehabilitated, however, playing a key role in Durham's Championship-winning season and being recalled to England's limited-overs teams. Playing as a third seamer in the one-dayers against Australia, and batting strikingly low at No 8, he took a maiden five-wicket haul and won selection for the 2013-14 Ashes tour that suddenly thrust him to the forefront of many people's attention.
Stokes' potentially life-changing experience on England's Ashes otherwise disastrous 2013/14 tour of Australia did not just fill English cricket with hope for a new era, it was a test for even the most stable personality. England were walloped 5-0 in the Tests, lost 4-1 in the one-day series and were whitewashed again in T20, and when the agony was all over, only Stokes returned to England hailed as a star of the future.
Stokes was that rare thing in English cricket: a true allrounder, and what is more a pugnacious as well as talented one, naturally combative, not cowed by confrontation. The maiden Test hundred he produced in Perth from No 6 as England, 2-0 down in the series, resorted to a five-strong attack was a doughty response out of keeping with England's general demeanour throughout the tour. Stokes, the player most under pressure, delivered emphatically, but few others did. It was no wonder that the media and the public took him to their hearts.
But there were warning signs. As well as being sent home from the Lions tour in early 2013, he missed the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh a year later after reacting to his dismissal in Barbados by punching a dressing room locker and sustaining a broken wrist. At one stage in a dismal start to 2014, he scored 43 runs in 12 innings across formats for England at an average of 3.60. Towards the end of the season, though, he swept Durham to the Royal London One-Day Cup final with a vigorous 164 against Nottinghamshire at Chester-le-Street, and then followed up with an important innings at Lord's to see off Warwickshire. It was as if a weight had been lifted.
The 2015 Lord's Test against New Zealand was another breakthrough. Promoted to No. 6 in the batting order, Stokes responded to the show of faith with scores of 92 and 101 in typically rumbustious fashion to help England to victory over Brendon McCullum's entertaining tourists. A successful Ashes series followed later that summer with his 6 for 36 in the second innings at Trent Bridge - a brilliant spell of swing bowling to compensate for the absence of the injured James Anderson - completed a victory that had seemed inevitable from the moment that Stuart Broad had taken 8 to dismiss Australia on the first morning.
A few months later he produced a barnstorming 258 from 198 balls against South Africa in Cape Town. It was the fastest England double hundred in history and the second fastest of all time. He shared a stand of 399 with Jonny Bairstow and registered the highest Test score by a No. 6. Following his Kolkata nightmare, he returned to India later in 2016 on an England Test and one-day tour, eager to make amends. He pillaged a century in the opening Test in Rajkot, despite suffering from cramps, and three hundreds the following English summer - two of them in ODIs - established himself as a fan's favourite. His bowling had been undermined by injuries - a heavy-footed frame has caused some concern - but he responded with a Test-best 6 for 22 against the West Indies at Lord's when he swung the ball persistently in a valiant spell of 15 overs without a break.
He justified his eye-watering price-tag at the 2017 IPL - he was bought for £1.7m by Rising Pune Supergiants - by finishing the tournament with the Most Valuable Player award (he was player of the match three times in 12 games) and, while he was unable to emulate that success the following year, he earned another £1.4m from Rajasthan Royals.
Still, the sense was the best was yet to come. Going into 2019, a year containing an Ashes series and a World Cup, he looked to be a player at the peak of his powers who had finally understood the level of sacrifice and discipline required to coax the best out of his undoubted talent.
NBC Denis Compton Award 2010, 2011