Wisden names Stokes as their leading player of the year

Cricket - West Indies v England - Second Test - Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda - January 31, 2019 England's Ben Stokes in action Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been named the ‘Leading Cricketer in the World’ in the 2020 edition of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.

The 28-year-old, who was born in New Zealand, played a leading role in England’s 50-over World Cup victory at home last year while his brilliant unbeaten knock of 135 helped the side to a thrilling one-wicket win over Australia in the third Ashes test at Headingley.

Andrew Flintoff was the last English player to win the award in 2005.

“Without him, this Almanack might have been another English hard-luck story,” editor Lawrence Booth said. “Instead, it’s a celebration. Stokes is their all-weather cricketer, a giant come rain or shine.

“The next few years should be fun.”

Before Stokes, India captain Virat Kohli had won the award three straight times.

Stokes hit an unbeaten 84 and then batted again in the super over as England dramatically beat New Zealand at Lord’s to lift the men’s World Cup for the first time.

Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry was named as the leading woman player in the world while she also found a place as one of Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year.

England pace bowler Jofra Archer, Australians Pat Cummins and Marnus Labuschagne and Essex off-spinner Simon Harmer were the others.

Perry scored the highest runs and took the most wickets as Australia successfully retained their Women’s Ashes title against England last year.

“Ellyse Perry dominated the women’s Ashes like no one before her,” Booth said

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