Helped by mystery benefactor in early days, Ben Stokes goes on to break cricket records
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Ben Stokes’ heroic display with the bat against South Africa on Sunday, where he smashed a record 258, was enjoyed by millions on television. While everybody appreciated the special knock, one special person must be appreciating it with a tinge of nostalgia. The identity of that special person, who helped young Stokes develop his game, is a mystery.

Few know that when New Zealand-born Stokes moved to England at a young age of 12, he was a raw yet powerful cricketer who was full of potential. He had major technical flaws which needed to be ironed out. Sensing potential greatness in the then 13-year-old, the mystery benefactor agreed to fund private coaching through the winter to help him develop his batting and bowling. Read more: Ben Stokes scripts history with his double ton: Twitter Reactions

The benefactor though had a small request that his/her identity should never be revealed. In a report from the Daily Telegraph, Jon Gibson, Stokes’ first coach in England who still teaches youngsters at Cockermouth Cricket Club in Cumbria, had vowed never to reveal the identity of the secret donor, whose identity is known only to him, his wife and the benefactor himself.

Today, Stokes is smashing records and creating new ones and watching this happen, the secret benefactor must be feeling extremely fulfilling about his investment, which is paying huge dividends and that too in national interest. He must be smiling somewhere, or may be helping another budding talent hone his skills, secretly and unselfishly.

Stokes’ records: