Ben Stokes' former colleagues at Cockermouth Cricket Club may have known they had a serious talent in their midst when he played for them a decade ago, but now believe the England ace has the potential to become the greatest all-rounder the game has ever seen.

Cockermouth club secretary Geoff Minshaw watched the 24-year-old take apart South Africa's Test attack on Sunday in a way that reminded him of a teenage Stokes clubbing Cumbrian league amateur bowlers to all parts.

Stokes' stunning 258 at Newlands broke a host of records and was the latest example of the Durham man's match-winning qualities.

But it was not always obvious to those who once played alongside him that the left-hander would go on to become the star he is today.

I don't think anybody thought he would go on to be the star that he is now in world cricket.

Cockermouth club secretary Geoff Minshaw

Unsurprisingly, Minshaw no longer thinks that way.

In fact, he believes Stokes could go down in cricketing history if he can continue to produce the kind of innings he did against South Africa, which came off just 198 balls and included 30 fours and 11 sixes.

He reminds me very much of Ian Botham, who was my idol when I was growing up because he was destructive, but even he (Stokes) has surpassed that with his innings this morning. It just looks like he's playing on a Cumbrian field against amateur bowlers and just basically whacking the ball all over the place.

Cockermouth club secretary Geoff Minshaw

Cockermouth are proud of the role they played in Stokes' development, with the New Zealand-born all-rounder playing for the club for three years from the age of 12 before being picked up by Durham.

It is almost 10 years since Stokes helped Cockermouth win their local Premier League title for the first time, but he is still in regular contact with his old club and, according to Minshaw, is just the same "genuine" person and player as he was.

We're all delighted for him in Cumbria because you want to produce good cricketers.

Cockermouth club secretary Geoff Minshaw

Minshaw also believes Stokes' achievements for England will help bring some cheer to a community that has been badly hit by the devastating recent flooding in the region, with Cockermouth CC currently trying to raise funds to help repair the damage done to their facilities.

There's a lot of people following him and who've got an interest in him. When he was back last time I know he left a lot of England shirts to the club for whatever they want to do. He'll be devastated about the floods in and around Cumbria because this was his home.

Cockermouth club secretary Geoff Minshaw