England’s Ben Stokes sold for almost £1.4m in the Indian Premier League auction but Test captain Joe Root went unsold in the first round of bidding. Stokes, who was named the most valuable player last year following a £1.7m contract with Rising Pune Supergiant, has joined Rajasthan Royals.
- “Ben is a cricketer of today and a cricketer of the future,” said Royals chief executive Ranjit Barthakur. Chris Woakes fetched £820,000 from Royal Challengers Bangalore. Jofra Archer, the 22-year-old Sussex all-rounder, was also signed by Rajasthan Royals as he went for £800,000.
- Archer has been a success in Australia’s T20 franchise competition, the Big Bash, and although born in West Indies, wants to play his international cricket for England. Following the auction, Archer tweeted: “Wow, can’t put this feeling into words.”
Born on 4 June 1991 in Christchurch, New Zealand, Benjamin Andrew Stokes is an all-rounder who bowls right arm medium fast and is a left-handed bat. He is the son of rugby league player, Gerald Stokes who represented New Zealand in international Rugby Leagues. His sublime talent was clear from an early age and it was no surprise that he signed on a 2-year county contract with Durham at the age of 18. He made his one day debut against Surrey in 2009 and marked the occasion by snaring Mark Ramprakash with his 3rd delivery in FC cricket.
Major teams England, Canterbury, Durham, Durham 2nd XI, England Lions, England Under-19s, Melbourne Renegades, Rising Pune Supergiant
- Playing role Allrounder
- Batting style Left-hand bat
- Bowling style Right-arm fast medium
Stokes is the son of rugby league player and coach Gerard Stokes. He moved to England at a young age after his father was appointed head coach of Workington Town rugby league club and grew up in the small, West Cumbrian town of Cockermouth, playing his cricket for Cockermouth Cricket Club; winning the North Lancashire & Cumbria Cricket League, Premier Division Title with the club as a 15-year-old in 2006. As of 2013 his parents have moved back to New Zealand and again reside in Christchurch
- Following the third ODI against West Indies at Bristol in September 2017, Stokes was arrested in the early hours of the morning after an incident near a nightclub, at which team-mate Alex Hales was also present. He was released by the police whilst they continued their investigation. This incident led to these two players missing the fourth game of the series, with a hand injury ruling Stokes out of the final game. The Sun released video footage that they claimed showed Ben Stokes punching two men.
- Stokes was initially named in the England squad for the 2017–18 Ashes, but he was later withdrawn with the legal process still ongoing. The Sun published a later story where two men hailed Stokes as a hero for protecting them from homophobic abuse on the night of the alleged assault. On 15 January 2018, Stokes was charged, along with 2 others, with affray. Stokes is due to appear before Bristol Magistrates’ Court on a date to be fixed.