Wisden names England's Ben Stokes as leading cricketer in the world

AFP
Photo: AFP

England's cricket star Ben Stokes on Thursday was crowned as Wisden's cricketer of the year for his starring role in the 2019 World Cup, effectively ending India skipper Virat Kohli's three-year reign.

The 2020 Wisden Cricketers' Almanack crowns the swashbuckling all-rounder as the sport's pre-eminent player.

He is the first England player to receive the honour since Andrew Flintoff in 2005.

The 28-year-old won the man-of-the-match award in the World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord's and then produced a remarkable match-winning innings of 135 not out in the third Ashes Test against Australia.

"Ben Stokes pulled off the performance of a lifetime -- twice in the space of a few weeks," said Wisden editor Lawrence Booth.

"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.

"Against red ball or white, he was a force of nature."

Stokes in January won the International Cricket Council's player of the year award.

England pace bowler Jofra Archer, who bowled the super over in the World Cup final, is among Wisden's five cricketers of the year.

Australians Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne and Ellyse Perry have been named alongside Archer, as well as South Africa-born Essex off-spinner Simon Harmer.

Perry also reclaimed the leading women's cricketer in the world title from India's Smriti Mandhana.

Wisden names England's Ben Stokes as leading cricketer in the world