Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Ben Stokes started his cricketing journey as an 18 year old with Durham in England, and then went on to make his first-class debut in 2010. England's search for a full-time allrounder after Flintoff's early retirement continues and Stokes is a front-runner for the spot, especially after his lone-standing performances during the Ashes in Australia in 2013-14.
r /> A product of the Durham Academy, Stokes scored a wonderful century against India in the 2010 Under-19 World Cup, before his entry into first-class cricket. He had a wonderful 2011, piling heaps of runs and taking wickets at the same time. A brilliant hundred with five sixes in an over against Hampshire, and a month later a maiden limited-overs ton proved his mettle on the domestic front. However, Stokes was struck by a broken finger injury, but he still continued to play for the England Lions. He was then called up for England's ODI series against Ireland later that year. Consistently in contention for the shorter formats for England, Stokes was selected in the England Test side for the Ashes Down Under, in 2013. Luck turned towards Stokes when Jonathan Trott was forced to return home due to stress related illness after the first Test at the 'Gabba. Stokes was handed his first cap as his replacement in the second Test at the Adelaide Oval. The cricketing fraternity saw what Stokes was made of in the third Test at the WACA where he scored his maiden Test ton while all the other English batsmen struggled. In the Sydney Test, he picked up his maiden five-fer, taking six Aussie wickets albeit in a losing cause. Stokes was the silver lining in what was a disastrous series for England.