A swashbuckling left-handed batsman and developing seamer, Stokes made history in 2016 by blasting England's fastest Test double-century.
Stokes smashed Sir Ian Botham's record by reaching the milestone in just 163 deliveries, just 10 balls more than New Zealander Nathan Astle's world record double-ton, in the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
His achievement also arrived during a world-record sixth-wicket stand of 399 with Jonny Bairstow, who compiled his maiden international ton.
Stokes' talent was apparent from a young age when he was selected for the England Under-19 squad to tour South Africa in January and February 2009 without having made a senior appearance for Durham.
He was not involved in their defence of the LV= County Championship title, but did make three NatWest Pro40 appearances in 2009 before being selected for England U19s on their tour to Bangladesh in October.
He was subsequently included in the age-group World Cup squad - he hit 100 off 88 balls against India - and his promise earned him a two-year professional deal with Durham.
Although 2010 proved to be a forgettable year for the county, Stokes enjoyed an impressive breakthrough season, scoring 798 first-class runs at an average of 44.
He was called into the England Performance Programme squad for the winter tour to Australia.
In 2011, Stokes continued his progress with an outstanding start to the season, scoring four hundreds and impressing with the ball, before a dislocated finger ruled him out of action for eight weeks.
On his return, he played for England Lions against Sri Lanka A and went on to make his full England debut in the one-day international victory over Ireland in August, with his Twenty20 bow versus West Indies following the next month after he had featured in four more ODIs versus India.
Surgery on his right index finger sidelined him that winter, but Stokes remained an integral part of the EPP set-up.
Stokes shone in 2012 for Durham and was called up to England Lions' squad for the winter tour of Australia, but was sent home after a breach of discipline. After a solid start to 2013 with his county, Stokes was named in England's ODI squads to face Ireland and Australia.
His development was further illustrated after the summer as the all-rounder was selected in England's Ashes party for the tour Down Under.
He was one of the shining lights of a difficult tour highlighted by his gutsy maiden Test century at the WACA Ground in Perth.
His progress was, however, stalled when he broke a bone in his hand after punching a locker when returning to the dressing-room after being dismissed during a limited-overs tour of the West Indies.
The injury ruled Stokes out of the World Twenty20 and he did not return to England colours until midway through the summer, against India in the Test series.
He then helped Durham win the Royal London One-Day Cup, blasting 164 in the semi-final and seeing his county over the line in a tense showpiece with a composed knock.
Having smashed the fastest Test ton at Lord's against New Zealand in May 2015, off just 85 balls, Stokes followed up a sensational one-handed catch with figures of 6-36 as England regained the Ashes at Trent Bridge later that summer.
He then continued to make history during England's tour of South Africa early the following year.