Christchurch-born Ben Stokes was man-of-the-match in England's 239-run test victory over South Africa at The Oval last week as he keeps growing out of the all-rounder shadows cast by Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff.

Andrew Alderson's named him in his New Zealand first XI of The Ones That Got Away.

1. Ben Stokes

His impact was immediate in his first test against New Zealand - the 10th of his career - at Lord's in 2015. Stokes hammered 92 off 94 balls to save England's first innings from 30 for four, smacked 101 off 92 balls in the second innings, then took three for 38 from 11 overs to secure the match as his parents, Ged and Deb, watched from their Christchurch lounge.

Stokes stayed in the north of England after his father, a one-test Kiwis league prop, took a coaching job at Workington Town just before his son started secondary school.


"It was tough for him but he adapted pretty quickly, as kids do," Ged told the Herald after the Lord's heroics. "The biggest problem was the language barrier, believe it or not.

They've got a very broad accent in Cumbria and he had absolutely no idea what they were talking about at first.

"He had a natural talent for the game ever since he picked his first plastic bat up," Ged told the BBC. "He could straight drive when he still had nappies on. I used to play with him in the hallway, and he wouldn't hit the walls."

2. Clarrie Grimmett

Born in Dunedin on December 25, 1891, Grimmett was described by fellow leg-spinning partner Bill O'Reilly in his Wisden obituary as the best Christmas present Australia ever received from New Zealand. Grimmett left for Australia in 1914 to embark on a short working holiday.

He stayed 66 years and remains the fastest bowler to 200 test wickets, achieved in the 36th of his 37 matches. Grimmett often completed overs in 90 seconds and bowled a solitary no-ball in his test career.

3. Ces Dacre

At 15 years and 224 days, he remains the youngest New Zealander to play first-class cricket, debuting for Auckland against Wellington in 1914-15. He was also the first of his countrymen to score a century at Lord's, making 107 for New Zealand against the Marylebone Cricket Club in 1927.

Dacre signed with Gloucestershire in 1928, played 191 games for the county until 1936, yet never played a test. He was renowned for his aggression, hitting a record of 32 sixes over the 1931 summer.

4. Roger Blunt

Helped build New Zealand's reputation into one of test status. After 10 first-class seasons, Blunt was selected for the 1927 England tour. He played 25 matches, scored two centuries, averaged 44 and was named a Wisden cricketer of the year.

Blunt played in the country's first nine tests but, after the 1931-32 season, only featured in three more matches across 1934 and 1935 - twice for Sir Julien Cahn's XI in England and once for the MCC in Ireland.

5. Stewie Dempster

Played 10 of New Zealand's first 11 tests from 1930 to 1933 and was the batting star with an average of 65.10. Headed to England to further his career as a member of furniture magnate Sir Julien Cahn's XI.

Cahn appointed him manager of a Leicester store, enabling him to play for that county. Dempster captained them from 1936 to 1938. He finished his first-class career in 1947-48 after returning to Wellington.

6. Bill Carson

Cricket never saw the best of Carson, who died aboard a ship between Italy and Egypt aged 28 in October 1944 during World War II. His promise was compelling. He made 290 for Auckland against Otago in January 1937, the highest maiden first-class century by a New Zealander until Peter Fulton's 301 not out of March 2003. Carson averaged 19 in 20 appearances for New Zealand on the 1937 England tour, but didn't play a test.

7. Tom Pritchard

On March 10, he became the first national representative to reach 100 years not out.

Pritchard played one rain-affected match for New Zealand against the Sir Julien Cahn XI as war loomed in 1939. A post-war career in Warwickshire, and opting out of playing for the 1949 New Zealand tourists because of how it might affect his professional career, mean the pace bowler remains largely unknown in his own country.

He took 818 first-class wickets at 23.30.

8. Ray Hitchcock

Featured in two matches for Canterbury during the 1947-48 season before moving to England to play out his career with Warwickshire from 1949 to 1964.

Now 87, Hitchcock was a left-hand batsman and leg spinner in the 1951 county championship winning side alongside fellow New Zealanders Tom Pritchard and Don Taylor. His 1964 benefit season saw him earn £6410. He once ran a sports shop in the West Midlands town of Solihull.

9. Andrew Caddick

Played for New Zealand under-19s in 1988 alongside the likes of Chris Cairns, Lee Germon and Rowing New Zealand chief executive Simon Peterson. That included the Christchurch-born pace bowler's selection for the youth World Cup where he played against Sri Lanka.

He soon moved to his parents' birthplace of England, and made his first-class debut for Somerset in 1991. He stayed for 19 seasons. Caddick played 62 tests (234 wickets at 29.91) and 54 ODIs (69 wickets at 28.47).

10. Jeff Wilson

Despite being one of the best all-round sportsmen of his generation, international cricket only bookended Wilson's career via six ODIs and the sport's inaugural T20 international in the seasons of 1992-93 and 2004-05. He played 60 All Blacks tests as a wing and fullback in the interim. Aged 19, Wilson can always draw satisfaction from belting 44 from 28 balls off Australia to earn New Zealand a victory by three wickets with two balls to spare at Hamilton in March 1993.

11. Jeetan Patel

Became a champion with the ball for Warwickshire after opting out of New Zealand's tour to the West Indies in 2014. Mark Craig's side strain saw Patel recalled at short notice to fill a test gap against India at Kolkata last September, but there was always the sense his best years in the county game had not been capitalised on internationally - through his own choice. Patel officially retired from the Black Caps in June.