Welcome to the Royals Family, Benjamin Andrew Stokes – a colossus in the game of cricket! One of the most thrilling players in the world, someone who gets fans’ pulses racing whenever he strides out to bat or prepares to run up to bowl, Ben is bound to set the upcoming IPL alight in Rajasthan colours.... Signed for 12.5 crores, he promises to be worth every rupee. After missing out on the recent Ashes Tour, ‘Stokesy’ is bound to be stoked up and raring to go. Despite being an England international, Ben was actually born in New Zealand, moving to northern England at the age of 12, where he began playing club cricket for local teams and soon excelled. Bowling right-arm fast-medium pace and batting left-handed, Ben caught the attention of Durham’s county scouts and then the national selectors. Stokes was that rare thing in English cricket: a true all rounder, fiery as well as talented, always giving as good as he gets when it comes to verbals out in the middle. The maiden Test hundred he scored against Australia in Perth, when England were 2-0 down in the series, was a feisty response, out of keeping with the rest of the England team's general demeanour throughout the tour. Stokes, the player most under pressure, delivered emphatically. It was no wonder that the English media and public took him to their hearts. For his country, Ben rapidly proved he was made of the right stuff. He holds the record for England's fastest ever Test double-century, the fastest ever Test match 250, and the highest ever score for a Test batsman batting at six. He also holds the record for the most runs scored by an individual batsman in the morning session of a Test match. Last year Stokes became the highest paid overseas player in the history of the Indian Premier League, fetching a record contract of ₹145 million (£1.7 million). Now he’s proved to be irresistible again, but in 2018 the most exciting cricketer in the world has joined the most exciting team, the Rajasthan Royals - it promises to be a perfect match!