Ben Stokes

Last updated

Ben Stokes
OBE
BEN STOKES (11704837023) (cropped).jpg
Stokes during the 2013–14 Ashes series
Personal information
Full nameBenjamin Andrew Stokes
Born (1991-06-04) 4 June 1991 (age 30)
Christchurch, New Zealand
NicknameStokesy, Benny
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm) [1]
BattingLeft-handed
BowlingRight-arm fast-medium
Role All-rounder
International information
National side
Test debut(cap  658)5 December 2013 v  Australia
Last Test4 March 2021 v  India
ODI debut(cap  221)25 August 2011 v  Ireland
Last ODI13 July 2021 v  Pakistan
ODI shirt no.55
T20I debut(cap  58)23 September 2011 v  West Indies
Last T20I20 March 2021 v  India
T20I shirt no.55
Domestic team information
YearsTeam
2009–present Durham (squad no. 38)
2014/15 Melbourne Renegades (squad no. 38)
2017 Rising Pune Supergiant (squad no. 55)
2017/18 Canterbury
2018–present Rajasthan Royals (squad no. 55)
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches71101148172
Runs scored4,6312,8718,4244,772
Batting average 37.0440.4335.3937.87
100s/50s10/243/2118/437/28
Top score258102* 258164
Balls bowled9,2753,06217,2644,737
Wickets 16374338138
Bowling average 31.3841.5929.3433.07
5 wickets in innings 4171
10 wickets in match0010
Best bowling6/225/617/675/61
Catches/stumpings 81/–47/–123/–78/–
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 13 July 2021

Benjamin Andrew Stokes OBE (born 4 June 1991) is an English international cricketer. Stokes was part of the England squad that won the 2019 Cricket World Cup, winning Man of the Match in the final. He has captained the England team in both Tests and One Day Internationals when the regular captain has been unavailable. Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Stokes moved to northern England with his parents at the age of 12, [2] where he learnt the game and began playing club cricket for local teams. A left-handed batsman and right-arm fast-medium swing bowler, Stokes was ranked the top-ranked Test all-rounder in the world in July 2020. [3]

Contents

As a bowler, Stokes consistently bowls at around the 140kph (87 mph) mark and he can also swing the ball. An attacking middle-order batsman, he holds the record for England's fastest ever Test double-century, [4] the fastest ever Test match 250, and the highest ever score for a Test batsman batting at number six. He also holds the record for the most runs scored by an individual batsman in the morning session of a Test match. Stokes became the highest-paid overseas player in the history of the Indian Premier League in 2017, fetching a record contract of 14.5 million ($2.1 million or £1.7 million); he won the Most Valuable Player award during the season. In January 2020, Stokes was awarded the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for Best Cricketer of the Year by the International Cricket Council (ICC) [5] and three months later was named the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World for 2019, [6] [7] an award he picked up again the next year. [8]

Early life

Stokes was born in New Zealand, the son of rugby league player and coach, the late Gerard Stokes, known as 'Ged Stokes', and an English mother, having English and Māori ancestry. [9] He moved to England at the age of 12 [2] after his father was appointed head coach of Workington Town rugby league club, and grew up in the small West Cumbrian town of Cockermouth, attending Cockermouth School and playing cricket for Cockermouth Cricket Club. [10] He won the North Lancashire & Cumbria Cricket League Premier Division Title with the club as a 15-year-old in 2006. His parents subsequently moved back to New Zealand to reside again in Christchurch; [2] Ged Stokes died in New Zealand on 8 December 2020. [11]

Domestic career

Stokes made his one-day debut for Durham in 2009 at The Oval and managed to take the wicket of the highly experienced batsman Mark Ramprakash with only his third delivery in professional cricket. He played in two youth tests against Bangladesh U19 during 2009, in which he made a half-century and took a few wickets. He then went on to play in the 2010 Under-19 World Cup, during which he scored a century against the India U19 team.

He made his first-class debut for Durham against the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) during the traditional season opener, which for 2010 was taking place at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. During that match he bagged a half-century and took one wicket. At the start of the 2010 County Cricket Season he also made his Championship debut for Durham when he played in a fixture against Essex. He made his maiden first-class century against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on 13 May. He has also featured for Durham in the Clydesdale Bank 40-over competition. Durham's continuing problems with many players becoming injured at the start of the 2010 season meant that Stokes continued playing in all forms of the game for Durham. [12] Having had a very successful debut season in first-class cricket he was given a place in the England Performance Programme and travelled to Australia during the 2010–11 Ashes. [13]

Stokes was a key member of the Durham side that won the 2013 County Championship, and was also named Man of the Match in the final of the 2014 Royal London One-Day Cup Final at Lord's, having scored 38* and taken 2 wickets in a low-scoring game against Warwickshire. [14]

On 2 January 2015, Stokes joined the Melbourne Renegades of Australia's Big Bash League for the remainder of the season as a replacement for Jesse Ryder, who was ruled out through injury. [15]

On 13 February 2017, Stokes was appointed vice-captain of England's test team, deputising under Joe Root, who was made captain the same day. [16]

IPL career

On 20 February 2017, Stokes was bought by the Rising Pune Supergiants in the IPL for Rs 14.5cr [17] (£1.7m). [18] He made his maiden T20 hundred against Gujarat Lions, getting 103* in 63 balls with 7 fours and 6 sixes. He was awarded the "Man of The Match" trophy a record three times in 14 games before he left for national duty. For his performances in the 2017 IPL season, he was named in the Cricinfo and Cricbuzz IPL XI. [19]

On 27 January 2018, he was bought by Rajasthan Royals for ₹12.5 crores (£1.7m); he was the most expensive player in the 2018 IPL auction. [20]

On 25 October 2020, he made his first century for Rajasthan Royals by hitting 107* in 60 balls against Mumbai Indians with 14 fours and 3 sixes, helping to chase a target of 196 with Sanju Samson for an unbeaten 152 run partnership for the 3rd wicket. In scoring the century, Stokes became the first player to make a hundred in a T20 match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. [21]

During the 2021 IPL, Stokes suffered a finger injury which ruled him out from the entire season after playing one match. [22] [23]

International career

2011–2012 Ireland, India and New Zealand

Stokes made his senior England debut in a One Day International (ODI) against Ireland in August 2011. Stokes was caught and bowled by Paul Stirling for just three runs and did not bowl; however, he did take a catch. [24]

Stokes continued in the limited overs side for the ODI series against India in 2011. In the first two games of the series Stokes did not bat or bowl. An injury to Stokes meant that he was not able to bowl in the series, and so was picked as a batsman only. In the third match Stokes hit 20 as England won the match by 3 wickets. In the fourth match of the series, Stokes only managed 7 runs as the match ended on a tie on the Duckworth–Lewis method. He was selected to make his Twenty20 International debut against the West Indies. In the second match he batted at number three, scoring 31 runs although England lost by 25 runs. He played in two T20 matches against New Zealand, although injury again meant he could not bowl. He scored 9 not out in the first game, although England narrowly lost. He did not bat in the second rain-affected match.

Stokes did not play for England in 2012 due to a combination of injuries, lack of form and disciplinary issues. He was sent home from an England Lions tour after he ignored a team curfew.

2013–14 Ashes series

Stokes practising before England's ODI against Ireland in 2013 Ben Stokes bowling , 2013.jpg
Stokes practising before England's ODI against Ireland in 2013

Stokes was selected for the England squad for the 2013–14 Ashes series against Australia. He became the 658th player to represent England at Test level. He made his debut in the 2nd Test and took the wickets of Michael Clarke and Peter Siddle before contributing 1 run in England's first innings. In the second innings, he made 28 runs off 90 balls in England's loss. [25] He was selected in the 3rd Test and took the wicket of Brad Haddin, he then made 18 off 57 deliveries. In Australia's second innings he bowled Michael Clarke and took Steve Smith's wicket. In England's second innings he made his maiden Test century scoring 120 off 195 balls before being caught. [26] In the first innings of the 4th Test he made 14 runs, then managed to get Shane Watson out. In the second innings he hit 19 runs and took the wicket of David Warner in England's loss. [27] Stokes took a career-best 6 wickets for 99 runs in the first innings of the 5th Test, including the major wickets of captain Clarke for 10 and top-scorer for the innings Steve Smith for 115. Stokes top scored for England with 47 runs in the first innings to help England limp to 155 all out. In the second innings he made 32 and finished the series on the losing end of a 5–0 whitewash. Stokes enjoyed a solid series however finishing as England's third-highest run scorer with 279 runs and also second-highest wicket taker with 15 wickets. Stokes was the only English batsman to score a hundred in the series. Stokes was praised for his batting efforts on a typical fast and bouncy Waca surface against hostile fast bowling of Mitchell Johnson at height of his bowling powers. [28] The Guardian described Stokes WACA century as The only welcome positive for the future. [29] [30]

Stokes was selected to bat at number 7 in the first match of the ODI series, making a quick 21 runs off 20 balls before being bowled. He contributed with the ball by taking the wicket of Aaron Finch. In the 2nd ODI he was out for a golden duck and he took the wicket of Nathan Coulter-Nile. In the 3rd ODI Stokes was promoted to bat at number 3 in the absence of Joe Root, he made 15 runs off 39 balls and also took the wicket of David Warner. Stokes scored his maiden ODI half-century in the 4th ODI, with 70 runs from 84 balls, as England achieved their first competitive win on the ninth match of the Australian tour. Stokes also finished with England's best bowling figures, taking 4–39. Stokes played in the 5th ODI, he took 3 wickets but made 0 runs. He finished the ODI series on the losing side of a 4–1 defeat. Stokes made 106 runs and took 10 wickets in the series. Stokes was selected for the 3rd T20 and made 5 runs.

2014 West Indies

Stokes was selected in the 1st ODI; however, he only made 5 runs before being bowled. In the 2nd ODI Stokes made 4 runs off 9 balls. Stokes also bowled for England for the first time, picking up 1 wicket for 13 runs. In the final ODI he was dismissed for a duck, although he bowled four overs, taking figures of 1–21. He played in two of the T20 Internationals. He took figures of 0–30 in the first match and made just 4 runs. He was dismissed for a duck in the next match. Despite this England won the game by 5 runs. After the game, Stokes was ruled out of the T20 World Cup through injury after punching a locker.

2014 India and Sri Lanka

After missing the series against Sri Lanka to be given more time to recover from his injury, Stokes returned to the squad for the Test series against India. He was selected as an all rounder for the first Test at Trent Bridge, taking 2–81 in the first innings. He was out for a duck when batting as England took a first innings lead thanks to a record partnership from Joe Root and James Anderson. Stokes failed to pick up a wicket in the second innings as the match finished in a draw. He kept his place in the team for the next Test at Lords and took figures of 2–40 in the first innings. However, his poor form with the bat continued as he was dismissed for another duck. Although he picked up figures of 3–51 in India's second innings, he was again unable to register a score with the bat as he made his first consecutive duck as England lost the match by 95 runs. Stokes was dropped for the next Test, with Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes coming into the side. England won the final three matches of the series, although Stokes was not involved in any of them. He returned for the One Day series, although he was expensive in the first game of the series, finishing with figures of 0–54 in seven overs. He made 23 with the bat as England lost the game. In the next match of the series he made just two runs, before taking figures of 1–31 as England suffered another defeat. After being dropped for the next match, he returned in the final match of the series, making an impressive 33 with the bat before taking figures of 3–47 as England won their first game of the series.

Stokes was selected for the tour of Sri Lanka late in 2014, although he endured a disappointing series. In the first match of the series he took figures of 1–36 and scored 16 runs. After being left out for the second match of the series he returned for the third, although he was unimpressive, finishing with figures of 0–28. He played in the fourth ODI, but ended with figures of 0–21 off just two overs, and played no further part in the series.

2015 West Indies and New Zealand

Stokes batting against New Zealand in 2015 England vs. New Zealand 2015 (34).jpg
Stokes batting against New Zealand in 2015

After missing the World Cup, Stokes was recalled to the side to tour the West Indies. In the first innings of the first game, Stokes made 79 with the bat. He failed to take a wicket in West Indies first innings, but made another 35 runs in England's second innings. He again failed to take a wicket in the final innings as the match ended in a draw. He took his first wicket of the series in West Indies first innings of the second match, but could only make eight with the bat. He again failed to take a wicket in West Indies's second innings but England chased down their target to win the game. In the final match of the series, he made 22 with the bat in England's first innings and took 1–17 to help England reach a first innings lead. However, England collapsed in their second innings and although Stokes took a wicket in the West Indies's second innings, it was not enough as West Indies won by five wickets to level the series 1–1.

Stokes retained his place in the England squad for the first Test against New Zealand at Lord's. Following his score of 92 in the first innings, Stokes recorded the fastest ever Test century at Lord's and second fastest by an England batsman, taking just 85 deliveries to bring up his hundred. He followed this by posting second innings bowling figures of 3 for 38, and was later named player of the match. In the second Test, Stokes was less prolific. After taking figures of 1–70 in New Zealand's first innings, he was then dismissed for just six. He was wicketless in New Zealand's second innings and could only manage 29 with the bat as England lost the Test to draw the series 1–1.

In the first ODI against New Zealand Stokes made ten with the bat and took figures of 0–28 as England secured an emphatic win. He took 2–66 in the next game, and followed this up by scoring 68 and taking figures of 2–35 in the third ODI. In the fourth match of the series he took two wickets and scored an unbeaten 19 to help England over the line to win the match and level the series. In the decider he scored 17 and took figures of 3–52 to help England win the match and the series 3–2. He hit an unbeaten 24 and took two wickets to help England win the only T20 match between the two sides.

2015 Ashes

Stokes was selected in the England team for the first Ashes Test, and scored 52 in the first innings to help England into a first innings lead. He then scored 42 in the second innings as England won by 169 runs. He made 87 in England's first innings of the second Test, but failed to take a wicket as England lost by 405 runs. In the third Test he was dismissed for a duck in his only innings but took 1–28 in Australia's second innings as England won by eight wickets. In the fourth Test he took a catch off Stuart Broad in Australia's first innings as well as taking figures of 6–36 in Australia's second innings to help England win the match and regain the Ashes. In the final match of the series he took figures of 3–133 in Australia's first innings, but only made fifteen runs with the bat in the match after being dismissed for a duck when England were following on. England lost the match by an innings and 48 runs but won the series 3–2.

In the one off T20I against Australia, Stokes took figures of 1–29 as England won by five runs. Stokes played in all five ODIs against Australia, his best performance with the ball coming in the second game of the series where he took figures of 3–60, although England lost the match by 59 runs. During the second ODI match of the series against Australia, Stokes was given out obstructing the field. He became only the sixth batsman to be given out in this manner in an ODI game. [31] While Stokes never took another a wicket in the series, his batting did improve. He scored 41 in the fourth ODI which England won by 3 wickets. Although England lost the final ODI to lose the series 3–2, Stokes was one of England's better performers, scoring 42 of their 138 runs.

2015 Pakistan

Stokes was named in the England test squad for the tour against Pakistan hosted in the UAE. In the first test in Abu Dhabi, he took 4–57 with the ball in Pakistan's first innings before himself scoring 57 with the bat in England's first innings; the match ultimately ended in a draw when bad light stopped play on the final day. [32] In the second match of the series Stokes was ineffective, taking just one wicket in the match and making scores of 4 and 13 with the bat as England suffered a 127-run defeat. He suffered a shoulder injury in the third and final test in Sharjah, [33] but still batted at number 11 as England ultimately lost the match and with it the series. [34]

2015–16 South Africa

Stokes returned to full fitness to take his place in England's winter tour of South Africa. While Stokes did not make a stand out contribution in the first test, England won by 241 runs. In England's first innings of the second test in Cape Town, Stokes arrived at the crease with England 167–4, facing a hat-trick ball from Kagiso Rabada. Stokes then hit a career-best score of 258, which included 30 fours and 11 sixes. [35] It was the second fastest double century in the history of test cricket (from 167 balls). His sixth wicket stand with Jonny Bairstow (who himself scored 150 not out) of 399 was a new world record, of which 196 were scored in 25 overs in the morning session on Day 2 alone. [36] Stokes' innings was ended in bizarre fashion, when after hitting two successive sixes, he was dropped by AB de Villiers only to be run out having paused between the wickets. The match finished in a draw with the batsmen dominating the game. In the third Test Stokes took five wickets as England won, securing a series victory for England. The fourth and final match of the series was won by South Africa, although Stokes did take another five wickets, including 4–86 in South Africa's first innings.

Stokes scored 57 in the first ODI against South Africa as England won by 39 runs on the DL Method. He took 2–53 in the second game, and scored his second half-century of the series in the third game of the series. In the fourth match he took 2–45 but England lost, meaning the series was level going into the decider. England lost the final match by 5 wickets, with Stokes failing to take a wicket in the match. In the two T20Is against South Africa, Stokes took figures of 1–19 in the first match and 0–32 in the second, as England lost both games.

2016 T20 World Cup

In the T20 World Cup Stokes was expensive in the first game against the West Indies, taking figures of 0–42. After being wicketless against South Africa, despite making 15 with the bat, Stokes took his first wicket of the tournament against Afghanistan. After England beat Sri Lanka to qualify for the semi-final, Stokes put in his best bowling display of the tournament against the Blackcaps, taking 3–26. Stokes bowled the final over of the final against the West Indies, but went for four consecutive sixes hit by the West Indian lower-order all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, and finished with figures of 0–41. In that match, with West Indies requiring 19 runs in the final over, England were very close to the win, but lost the match and the World Cup, and finished as runners-up.

2016 Sri Lanka and Pakistan

Stokes played in the first Test against Sri Lanka, making 12 in England first innings score of 298 before taking a wicket in Sri Lanka's reply. England won the match but Stokes picked up an injury and played no further part in the series.

Stokes returned from injury in the second Test against Pakistan, scoring 34 in the first innings to help England reach 589/8 declared, although he injured himself bowling in Pakistan's second innings and was ruled out for the rest of the series. England won the only match Stokes played in and drew the series 2–2. He returned for the ODI series, scoring 15 in the first match and 42 in the second as England won the opening two games of the series. He took figures of 1–14 in the third ODI as England won by 169 runs after setting a world record score with the bat. In the final two matches of the series, Stokes made a fifty in both innings. He scored 69 in the fourth ODI as England won by four wickets, and scored 75 in the final match of the series, although England lost by four wickets after setting Pakistan 303 to win. England lost the only T20I of the tour, with Stokes only managing 4 with the bat and taking figures of 0–20.

2016 Bangladesh

Stokes scored 101 in the first ODI against Bangladesh to help England to 309, a match winning total. In the next match he took a wicket but was out for a duck as England suffered a defeat. Stokes took 1–24 in the final ODI and made an unbeaten 47 to guide England to a four wicket victory. In the first Test against Bangladesh Stokes made 18 in England's first innings, and then took figures of 4–26. In the second innings, Stokes made 85 and took another two wickets in a "Man of the Match" performance as England won by 22 runs. In the second Test, Stokes took two wickets in Bangladesh's first innings, before making a duck in England's first innings score of 244. He took another three wickets and scored 25, but this was not enough to prevent a defeat, and the series finished 1–1.

2016–17 India

In the first Test against India, Stokes made 128 in England's first innings to help them reach 537. He took one wicket in India's first innings, before making an unbeaten 29. The match ended in a draw. In the second Test he finished with figures of 1–73 in India's first innings, before making 70 with the bat. He was out for six in England's second innings as they lost by 246 runs. In the third Test he made 29 in England's first innings, and then took 5–73 in India's first innings. After making five in the second innings, Stokes failed to pick up another wicket as England suffered another defeat. In the fourth Test he made 31 in England's first innings score of 400, but failed to pick up a wicket or make an impression in England's second innings as they lost by an innings and 36 runs. In the final match of the series, Stokes picked up just one wicket and scored 29 runs in the match as England lost by an innings and 75 runs. For his performances in 2016, he was named in the World Test XI by the ICC and Cricinfo. [37] [38] He was also named in the ODI XI of the year 2016 by Cricinfo. [38]

Stokes made 62 in England's first innings total of 350/7, before taking 2–73, as England lost by three wickets. In the second ODI he made just one with the bat and failed to take a wicket, as England lost by 15 runs. In the final match of the series he made 57 in England's total of 321/8 and took three wickets, as England won by five runs. In the first T20I he took 1–37 as England won by seven wickets. In the second T20I he made 38 with the bat as England scored 139/6, although England lost by five runs. In the third and final T20I, he took 1–32 as England lost by 75 runs.

2016–17 West Indies

Stokes made 55 in England's first ODI against the West Indies as they won by 45 runs. In the second match he took figures of 1–29 but could only make one with the bat as England won by four wickets. In the final match he made a quick fire 34 and then took a wicket as England won by 186 runs to win the series 3–0.

2017 South Africa, Champions Trophy and West Indies

Stokes scored his second ODI century against South Africa in the lead-up to the Champions Trophy, and in the tournament itself his third, against Australia. He was also named as part of the 'Team of the Tournament' at the 2017 Champions Trophy by the ICC. [39]

He scored 299 runs, including a century at The Oval, and took 7 wickets in a four Test series against South Africa. In a three Test series against West Indies, he scored 228 runs and took 9 wickets. At Headingley, in the second Test, he scored his fourth Test century, and at Lord's in the third, he took a career best 6–22 with the ball.

2019 Cricket World Cup

Ben Stokes signing autograph for a fan, after the World cup victory Ben Stokes.jpg
Ben Stokes signing autograph for a fan, after the World cup victory

In April 2019, Stokes was named in England's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. [40] [41] [42]

In the opening match of the tournament against South Africa, he made a score of 89 runs from 79 balls, claimed two wickets, ran out Dwaine Pretorius and took two catches to be declared "Man of the Match" in a comprehensive 104-run win for England. His catch to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo has been described as "one of the greatest catches of all time". [43]

Stokes produced multiple standout performances with the bat later in the group stage. Stokes was left stranded on 82*, as England were bowled out for 212 in a surprise 20-run defeat to Sri Lanka. [44] He again proved to be the only resistance to Australia's bowling attack in their following match, by scoring 89 runs in a chase of 286. [45] England ultimately fell short by 64 runs as they were bowled out for 221. In a must-win match against India in the following group match, Stokes played a very important innings, scoring a quick-fire 79 runs in 54 balls, as England won by 31 runs. [46]

In the final against New Zealand, he scored 84*, including 2 sixes in the final over (one traditional and one due to overthrows after a ball bounced off Stokes' bat to the boundary), to tie the game. [47] He then batted in the super over with Jos Buttler, which again was a tie, but England won the match on the boundary countback rule then in place. For this performance, he was named man of the match for the second time in the tournament. [48]

He was named in the "Team of the Tournament" for the 2019 World Cup by the ICC. [49]

2019 Ashes

Stokes raising his bat after winning the third Test against Australia Ben Stokes raising his bat, Ashes 2019.jpg
Stokes raising his bat after winning the third Test against Australia

Faced with an incisive Australian bowling attack and Bradmanesque batting contribution from Steve Smith, [50] Stokes played a pivotal role in enabling England ultimately to draw the 2019 Ashes series 2–2 (although Australia thereby retained the urn). In the third test at Headingley, England appeared to be heading for certain defeat after they were bowled out for 67 in their first innings. [51] Stokes managed to overturn an overnight Australian lead, hitting 11 fours and 8 sixes to win with an unbeaten 135* in a record pursuit of 359. [52] His innings has been described as "one of the greatest innings of all time" and the "greatest ever played by an Englishman". [53] [54] Stokes innings was rated by Wisden as the Greatest hundred of the decade (2010's). [55]

He was named as England's player of the series as he ended the series as England's top run-scorer with 441 runs with 2 hundreds and 2 fifties, while also taking 8 wickets. [56]

"It's the same with success and failure. There's always the momentum thing, but you just have to put whatever happened in the past behind you."

2019 New Zealand

Stokes continued on his good form into the tour of New Zealand. He made scores of 91 and 28 as England slumped to an innings defeat in the first test match of the series. [57] He then made 26 runs in his only innings in the next test, as England drew the match to lose the series. [58]

He was named as the 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year, [59] ICC Player of the Year at the 2019 ICC Awards. [60]

2019–20 South Africa

Stokes' form continued into 4-test match tour of South Africa, as he was named player of the series after scoring 318 runs and taking 10 wickets. [61] Following defeat in the first test, Stokes put in a "man of the match" performance in the 2nd test. He made scores of 47 and 72, with the latter from only 47 balls, to set South Africa a target of 437. Stokes then managed to break the host's resistance, as they fought to draw the game, by taking the final 3 wickets to bowl them out for 248 runs to level the series. [62] In the following match, his first innings score of 120 was crucial in setting up an innings win for England, which meant they took a 2–1 lead in the series going into the final test match. [63] Stokes only made 2 and 28 runs in the final test, but he did take 4 wickets in the match, as England won by 191 runs to secure a second consecutive away series win against South Africa. [64]

2020 West Indies

On 17 June 2020, Stokes was included in England's 30-man squad to start training behind closed doors for the Test series against the West Indies. [65] [66] Stokes was named as captain for one of the teams in the official inter-squad warm-up match. In the absence of regular captain Joe Root (due to the birth of his child), it was announced that as vice-captain, Stokes would therefore captain England for the first time. [67] Prior to being named captain, Stokes had never led a side in a first-class, List A or Twenty20 cricket match. [68] In the first Test, Stokes took his 150th wicket, to become the sixth cricketer to score 4,000 runs and take 150 wickets in Tests, [69] and in the first innings of the second Test, Stokes scored 176 runs, to record his tenth century in Test cricket. [70]

2021 Stand-in captain

During the 2021 season, the England limited-over squad suffered a COVID outbreak at the end of a limited overs series against Sri Lanka. The whole squad, including the captain Eoin Morgan, had to self-isolate just before a home series against Pakistan. [71] Stokes had not played against Sri Lanka due to injury, leaving him as the most senior player for the Pakistan ODI matches, for which he was named captain. [72] He led the inexperienced team, in which he had almost four times as many ODI appearances as the rest of the team combined, [73] to a nine-wicket victory in the first match. [74] In the next game of the series against Pakistan, Stokes played in his 100th ODI match. [75]

Personal life

Stokes became engaged to Clare Ratcliffe in 2013. [76] They married in East Brent, Somerset in October 2017. [77] They have two children. [78] [79] [80] Stokes has a tattoo of a family of lions, symbolising his own family, covering his entire back. [81]

Nightclub incident and affray charge

Following the third ODI against West Indies at Bristol in September 2017, Stokes was arrested after becoming involved in a street brawl near a nightclub with two men, at which teammate Alex Hales was also present. [82] This incident led to both players missing the fourth game of the series, and a hand injury sustained in the brawl also ruled Stokes out of the final game. [83] He also missed the 2017–18 Ashes and the second Test match against India due to the incident and the subsequent trial. [84] [85] He lost his apparel sponsorship with New Balance over these incidents. [86]

Stokes was charged on 15 January 2018 with affray along with the two other men, and appeared before Bristol Magistrates' Court on 13 February 2018. [87] During the trial, which started on 6 August 2018, Stokes said he was defending a gay couple from homophobic abuse from the other two men, but was accused by the prosecuting lawyer of lying and that he himself had flicked a cigarette at the gay couple and mocked them. [88] [89] He was acquitted on 14 August. [90] The couple thanked Stokes afterwards for defending them, saying that he "didn't deserve being put through a trial". [91]

In September 2018, Stokes was charged with bringing the game into disrepute by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) over the incident in Bristol and social media posts. [92] Stokes pleaded guilty to the charges, and in December 2018 was fined £30,000 and banned for eight matches, all of which he had already served by that time. [93]

Records and achievements

Honours

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