Stokes one of the best England have ever had, feels Cork

Former England fast-bowler Dominic Cork lavished praise on all-rounder Ben Stokes and said he is one of the country’s finest to have ever played the game.

Stokes, 29, slammed a superb 176 on day two of the second #raisethebat Test against West Indies at Old Trafford here.

Speaking on Sky Sports ‘The Cricket Debate’, former England seamer Cork said: “It could have been the end three years ago (with the Bristol incident) and I think he realised just what he has got as a talent.

“I genuinely think he can get better because of his work ethic. He wants to bat, he wants to bowl, he wants to work on his game, wants to get better.

“I know he works a hell of a lot on his bowling as well. I just see this man not becoming only the best in the world but one of the best we have had ever. That’s how highly I rate him.”

“I think there has definitely been a change with Ben,” said former England cricketer Ravi Bopara.

“He is a fiery character and always has been – even if you are playing PlayStation in hotel rooms!

“But as he has had a more important role in the side as an all-rounder, making an impact with bat and ball, winning games for England, and since England have started looking at him as the main guy, his attitude has changed with it.

“He has always been a hard worker – he bats for hours and is a bit of a machine when it comes to fitness – but he looks like he has got his head in the right place.

“He has made his mistakes and learnt from them. He looks a formidable cricketer.”

Stokes helped England win the World Cup last year and was also a vital part in their Ashes campaign.