IPL auction 2018: Over the years England has produced some controversial yet world-class fast-bowling all-rounders and the latest name on the list is of Ben Stokes. The man who was the most expensive player in IPL auction 2017, once again set the stage on fire and was purchased by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 12.5 crore in IPL auction 2018. A three-dimensional player who can contribute in all departments of the game, Stoke made his first-class debut at the age of 17 years for Durham. He had the pressure of doing justice to his talent but responded brilliantly as he dismissed the experienced Mark Ramprakash off just his third delivery in professional cricket. Here are five facts about Ben Stokes that you probably didn’t know:
1. Few good performances were good enough to earn Ben Stokes a place in England’s 2010 Under-19 World Cup team which was led by the new Test captain Joe Root. His match winning abilities were visible when he scored a century against India U-19 team in that tournament that included names like KL Rahul, Mandeep Singh and Sandeep Sharma.
2. He made his ODI debut in 2011 against Ireland but didn’t have a very good start to his career. Poor record combined with an injury and to make matters worse, he was sent home early on England Lions tour of Australia in February 2013 on the grounds of indiscipline.
3. However, Stokes fought his way back into the national side and made his Test debut two years later in 2013-14 Ashes series in Australia. Even though, England lost that series 5-0, they had found a new star in Ben Stokes.
4. Since then, he has been a terrific performer across all formats and had an excellent T20 World Cup in India in 2016 before Carlos Brathwaite smoked him for 4 sixes in the final over leading to a heartbreak.
5. Last year he represented Rising Pune Supergiants in IPL, picking up 12 wickets in 12 matches and maintained a batting average of over 31. These performances made Ben Stokes a favourite in IPL auction 2018.
With a strike rate of about 135 and a bowling average of 36 in T20s, Ben Stokes is certainly going to be a big threat for the opposition teams in IPL 11.