England captain Ben Stokes will be looking to steer England to their first Ashes win since 2015 when they face Australia on home turf this summer. 

The 32-year-old, who spent much of his teenage years living in Cockermouth, has helped transform England's fortunes under head coach Brendon McCullum. 

While the all-rounder was born in New Zealand, he got his first taste of sporting success with Cockermouth cricket club at the age of 15, as they won the North Lancashire & Cumbria Cricket League Premier Division Title. 

Nearly 17 years later, Stokes has a far bigger prize on his mind as England prepare for the first test at Edgbaston on Friday, June 16. 

Under the coaching of Chris Silverwood in 2022, England suffered an embarrassing 4-0 defeat against the Aussies down under but will be hopeful of a far more competent series following a resurgent spell under McCullum, Stokes, and managing director Rob Key. 

England may have won 11 of their past 13 tests but they have not faced Australia in that time and Andrew McDonald's side are fresh off the back of a World Test Championship success. 

Stokes will be key to England's hopes of victory, having scored 870 runs at an average of 36.25 and took 26 wickets at an average of 31.19 during 2022.

The Cockermouth hero is targeting a return to the bowling lineup after some struggles with a knee injury, which meant that he did not bat or bowl in the recent one-sided win against Ireland. 

It was Stokes who stepped up in the remarkable 2019 World Cup win, with an inspired batting display that stunned New Zealand, but his experience and leadership mean he could be just as important off the pitch in the coming weeks, as he looks to end England's eight-year Ashes drought.