The atmosphere was electric at Cockermouth Cricket Club as 'an evolution of cricketers' packed in to watch former member Ben Stokes play the game of his life in the World Cup.

Former teammate Gareth White is the club's captain.

"It was brilliant watching with people who had played with him, coached him, been to school with him and youngsters who idolised him and spend all their time in the nets. There was an evolution of cricketers, it was a surreal time," said Gareth, a teacher at All Saints' School.

"There was an incredible atmosphere, there's nothing like the tension of a cricket match when it builds up like that."

Gareth, 40, clearly remembers playing with Ben when he first broke into the team as a youngster in 2006.

"He was brilliantly coached by Jon Gibson. He had a lot of raw talent then his bowling clicked all of a sudden, he was bowling really quick at a young age," said Gareth, who also played professionally.

"We thought he had a chance of playing first class cricket, no one ever imagined he would go on to this."

The club is delighted that Ben has maintained close links. They all clearly remember his dedication to the sport.

"It's brilliant for England to win the World Cup but for it to be a Cockermouth player who still holds the town in such high regard is great," he said.

"The club has been good to him and he's been good to the club. He never forgets his friends. When you speak to him he is still old Ben.

"When we won the North Lancs Premier Division last year, the first text I got was from Ben, congratulating us. He is always up to date."

Gareth is hoping the World Cup win will promote cricket even more.

"We are so fortunate in Cockermouth, we have great facilities and lots of kids wanting to play the game," said Gareth.

He claims to have been "brought up there" as his dad, Ken White, is a life member.

His children, Cameron, 10, and Isabelle, eight, both play too.

The club will discuss how to mark Ben's incredible success although are aware that he is tied up at the moment with The Ashes coming up.

"We will meet as a committee and sort something out," said Gareth.

Chris Hayes, the former head of boys PE at Cockermouth School, where Ben was a pupil, said: "It was obvious all along that Ben would make his mark in cricket. He was extremely talented and dedicated to being the best he could.

"It is great for the community to be associated with the national success and the feel good factor it brings. Well done to Ben and all those involved in his development."

Ian Routledge, Ben’s former Head of Year, said: “We are all extremely proud of Ben’s achievements and the fact that he has got to the very top of the game based on his hard work and dedication.

"We encourage all of our students to aspire to be the very best that they can be and we are delighted that Ben has achieved on the highest stage.”

Former Workington MP Tony Cunningham played a small part in Ben's England career, by helping him secure a British passport.

He said: "When his dad Ged came over to coach Workington Town, I was asked to help with his work visa. Then when Ben was still at school, Ged and Deborah came to see me to see if I could help Ben get a British passport. Ged said to me 'He is determined to play for England when he's older and he needs the right passport.'

"We got him the passport and when I was watching the World Cup, I did feel a little bit of pride - without that passport he could have been playing for New Zealand and the result may have been very different!

"It's nice to have a tiny role in the Ben Stokes story, but tributes must be paid to his teachers, coaches and his parents - which is where he gets his determination and drive from - who all must be feeling so proud of the man of the match."