ENGLAND cricket hero Ben Stokes has been awarded the Freeman of the Borough by Allerdale Council.

Councillors last night voted to approve an extraordinary meeting of the council to award him the honour.

The motion was tabled by councillor Paul Scott, who said: "I would like to propose that Allerdale Borough Council acknowledge the performance of one of its own. Ben Stokes has worked tirelessly in his career and put Cockermouth on the map with his dedication and commitment.

"Ben Stokes is the son of Gerard and Deborah Stokes and moved to England at the age of 12 after his father was appointed head coach of Workington Town Rugby League club. Ben grew up in Cockermouth and attended Cockermouth School, playing cricket for Cockermouth Cricket Club.

"He won the North Lancashire & Cumbria Cricket League Premier Division Title with the club as a 15 year old in 2006. Ben Stokes holds the following list of achievements:

- Second-fastest test double hundred in terms of balls faced

- Fastest 250 in tests for which he took 196 balls

- Second highest number of sixes in a test innings – 11 sixes

- Most runs in a test innings at the sixth position – 258 runs

- Most runs in the first session of a day in tests – 130 runs

- Highest test partnership for the sixth wicket

- Man of the final in the Cricket World Cup – 2019

"More so with his performance in the second innings of the present Ashes series, Ben secured the third test for England with a workman like batting performance and again secured player of the match.

"I firmly believe 2019 belongs to Ben Stokes and to acknowledge this and all of his achievements I call an extraordinary meeting of council to award him the position of Freeman of our borough."