Ben Stokes has been named the world’s leading cricketer by Wisden after World Cup wins and great Ashes innings
The hero of England’s dramatic World Cup triumph and Headingley’s miracle last summer, Ben Stokes has been named the world’s leading cricketer.
Still the bible of the sport in the 157th year, Wisden chooses Stokes as the first Englishman to win the prestigious award since Andrew Flintoff in the legendary Ashes summer of 2005. And it ends the domination of Indian captain Virat Kohli, who it had won for the past three years.
“Ben Stokes delivered the performance of a lifetime – twice within a few weeks,” said Wisden editor and Sports email cricket writer Lawrence Booth.
Ben Stokes’ innings at Headingley last summer were sports drama of the highest order
The English all-rounder also played in the World Cup final victory over New Zealand
Stokes is the first Englishman to be named Andrew Crintoff of the Year by Andrew Flintoff
First, with a mixture of outrageous talent and luck, he saved the hunt for England in the World Cup final before helping 15 of the Super Over.
Then, in the third Ashes test at Headingley, he produced one of the big innings, beating an unbeaten 135 to achieve a one-time victory. Against red ball or white he was a natural force. ‘
Of course, Stokes would also be one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the year, a tradition dating back to 1889, but he won the award in 2016 and it’s still one of the Almanack’s longstanding rules that every cricketer can only are called.
So Booth, in his ninth year in the Wisden chair, has instead named three Ashes fighters from last year in Jofra Archer this year, Pat Cummins and Marnus Labuschagne, the man who did so much to deliver Essex a domestic doppelganger in Simon Harmer and Australia women Ashes hero Ellyse Perry.
It was a mixture of outrageous talent and luck when Stokes sent the chase
Stokes slumped into the locker room as the scale of his Ashes performance sank
“Jofra Archer had an unprecedented impact in his first summer as an international cricketer,” said Booth.
He showed a stunning balance to win the Super Over that gave England the World Cup, then produced some of the fastest and most memorable spells in recent Ashes history, knocking Steve Smith down at Lord’s and ending the series with 22 wickets for only 20 each. ‘
Cummins, crucial at the right time after so many injury problems, was key in the holders of Australia who kept the Ashes in a streak that ended in a 2-2 draw.
“Pat Cummins was a constant threat as Australia retained the Ashes in England for the first time since 2001,” Booth said.
“He was fast, hostile, accurate – and rarely without a smile. His catch of 29 wickets was highest in a series by a bowler who didn’t take a five-for. He looked what he was: number 1 in the world. ‘
Pat Cummins (center) was pivotal in Australia and successfully kept the urn last year
Harmer led Essex to the T20 title for the first time, especially on the final day, while his off-spin was again the key factor in Essex’s second County Championship title in three years.
“Thanks in part to Simon Harmer’s off-breaks, Essex enjoyed the summer of a lifetime,” said Booth, becoming the first county to win championships and T20 titles in the same season.
“His four-day distance of 83 wickets at 18 included a remarkable 10-five distance, while his performance with both bat and ball on the T20 final day ensured victory on the last ball.”
Labuschagne is hailed as a curiosity of Ashes who started the season as Test Cricket’s first concussion substitute and then ended up as Australia’s best batsman after Steve Smith, ‘while Perry is chosen for’ dominating the woman’s Ashes like no other for her ‘ “.
There is no doubt that 2019 belonged to Stokes and he delivered unforgettable memories
Wisden, such a comforting presence at such an uncertain time, is packed with his usual mix of quality writing, statistics and curiosities, with Eoin Morgan contributing an outstanding piece to the diversity of his World Cup-winning side and Paul Allott a touching one writes article about the death of his great friend Bob Willis.
Both were part of Sports emails exclusive serialization of this year’s Wisden last week.
And in this year’s Almanack, published today, our own booth achieves the longest single stint as an editor since Norman Preston edited the last of his 29 Wisdens in 1980.
The only pity is that his 10th next year probably looks very different and shortened now.