Ben Stokes is the ‘box office’ of cricket; lauds England legend Ian Botham

England’s dynamic all-rounder Ben Stokes began the summer in imperious form with both bat and ball as he claimed the numero uno spot in the globe. Speaking on the same lines, Ian Botham believes the most valuable player in world cricket right now is Ben Stokes.

He said, ‘Ben Stokes the person, the cricketer is… He’s box office. He’s a great ambassador if you see him with the kids after each game, and the time he spends to make sure everyone gets the picture they want or the signature they want.”

Botham added, ‘As a cricketer, fantastic. I find him as a bloke very straight, very honest. He’s box office and I would say he’s currently the most valuable player in world cricket.’

Stokes, however, will miss out the third and final contest in Southampton after family reasons forced him to miss fly back to New Zealand and miss the last two Tests of the summer.

Botham also reserved praise for Stuart Broad, who after becoming the second England player to take 500 Test wickets earlier this summer has now risen to No 2 in the world rankings for bowlers.