Benjamin Andrew ‘Ben’ Stokes, a.k.a. ‘Stokesy’, made his Test debut for England against Australia in the second Test of the 2013/14 Ashes series at the Adelaide Oval on December 5, 2013. Australia won the toss and elected to bat, declaring their first innings closed at 570-9 after tea on the second day. Stokes took his first Test wicket when Australian captain Michael Clarke, on 148, chipped to James Anderson at short midwicket, and finished the innings with bowling figures of 18-0-70-2. With the bat, he added just one to England’s first innings total of 172 before being trapped lbw by Mitchell Johnson in his second over after lunch on the third day.
Clarke decided not to enforce the follow-on and, in the second innings, Australia scored 132-3 declared, with Stokes recording bowling figures of 7-3-20-0, setting England a target of 531 runs. In the face of almost inevitable defeat, Stokes batted for just over two hours before being caught by Clarke, off the bowling of Ryan Harris, for 28. However, with the last four England second innings’ wickets falling with 12 overs, the visitors were bowled out for 312, giving Australia victory by 218 runs.
Born in Christchurch, New Zealand on June 4, 1991, Stokes moved to Cockermouth, Cumbria as a 12-year-old boy. Having made rapid progress through the ranks, he eventually made his first-class debut for Durham against Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in the traditional curtain-raiser for the County Championship season at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on March 29, 2010. Of course, nowadays, Stokes is a mainstay of the England Test team, having captained the side since April, 2022; at the last count, he had 89 matches, 5,602 runs and 193 wickets to his name.