Swashbuckling England all-rounder, Ben Stokes has ended India skipper Virat Kohli’s three-year run as Wisden’s leading cricketer of the year after being named for the honour on the back of his stellar show in 2019.
The 2020 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack also coronated Ellyse Perry as leading women’s cricketer of the year as the Australian reclaimed the title from India’s Smriti Mandhana.Stokes is the first Englishman to receive the honour since former captain Andrew Flintoff in 2005.
Stokes propelled England to their maiden World title last year with a man-of-the-match performance in the final against New Zealand at Lord’s.
He then followed it up with a remarkable match-winning unbeaten innings of 135 in the third Ashes Test against Australia.
The 28-year-old, who succeeds Kohli, amassed 821 Test runs and scored 719 in ODI’s in 2019.
“Ben Stokes pulled off the performance of a lifetime – twice in the space of a few weeks,” said Wisden’s editor, Lawrence Booth was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“First, with a mixture of outrageous talent and good fortune, he rescued England’s run-chase in the World Cup final, before helping to hit 15 off the super over. Then, in the Third Ashes Test at Headingley, he produced one of the great innings, smashing an unbeaten 135 to pinch a one-wicket win.”
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Australia all-rounder Perry bagged the honour for her splendid Ashes show.
“Ellyse Perry dominated the women’s Ashes like no one before her inspiring Australia to a crushing victory. She was devastating with the ball, claiming seven for 22 in the ODI at Canterbury, and remorseless with the bat, not least during the one-off Test at Taunton, where she made 116 and 76 not out.”
England pacer Jofra Archer, Australians Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne and Perry and Essex’s player Simon Harmer were picked as the five Wisden Cricketers of the year.