Ben Stokes has been named as the leading cricketer of the year by the Wisden Cricketes’ Almanack, after a remarkable 2019 season which guided England to their Maiden World Cup title. Stokes succeeds India’s Virat Kohli, who had been honoured by Wisden for three years running, becoming the first English player since Andrew Flintoff in 2005 to be considered the best contemporary player in the world.
Stokes is the second England player to win this award in its 17-year history after Andrew Flintoff. Stokes has enjoyed his greatest year in International cricket in 2019/20 – the two of his biggest contributions being his knock in the ODI World Cup final and then in the Headingley Ashes Test, where he pulled off a heist along with No.11 Jack Leach. Man of the Test scored a heroic 135 not out in the Headingley Test, including an edge-of-the-seat 76-run partnership with Leach.
Five other cricketers have been named as Cricketers of the Year – Jofra Archer, Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne, Ellyse Perry and Simon Harmer. While Archer has proved to be phenomenon for England in the ODI World Cup and in Test cricket. Since then, has enjoyed a breakthrough year. The three Australians – Cummins, Labuschagne – all played crucial hands in helping the men’s Australian teams retain the Ashes urn on British soil. Wisden said that Ellyse Perry dominated women’s ashes like never before.
Cummins, currently ranked as the world’s No.1 Test bowler by the ICC, was a dominant force as Australia retained the Ashes urn in a 2-2 series draw, taking 29 wickets at 19.62.
Labuschagne would have been considered a long shot for such recognition at the start of the summer but went from strength to strength after becoming international cricket’s first concussion substitute after the brutal conclusion to Archer versus Smith. He went on to average more than 50 and has gone from back-up player to No.3 batsman in the Test standings.