LONDON: Ben Stokes has become the first Englishman since 2005 to be named Wisden’s leading cricketer in the world.
Stokes played a key role in England’s World Cup victory in July and was named man of the match in the final.
The 28-year-old scored a stunning 135 not out to lead England to a thrilling one-wicket victory over Australia in the third Ashes Test at Headingley.
Andrew Flintoff was the last England men’s player to receive the award.
India captain Virat Kohli has won it for the past three years.
England pace bowler Jofra Archer has been named as one of Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year.
Australians Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne and Ellyse Perry have been named alongside Archer, as well as Essex off-spinner Simon Harmer.
Perry, who is the first non-England women’s player to appear as one of the five, has also been named the world’s leading women’s cricketer.
All-rounder 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.
His last-wicket stand of 76 with Jack Leach helped England level the Ashes series, which they would eventually draw 2-2.
“Without him, this Almanack might have been another English hard-luck story,” editor Lawrence Booth wrote.
“Instead, it’s a celebration. Stokes is their all-weather cricketer, a giant come rain or shine.
“The next few years should be fun.”
The Cricketers of the Year – who else won & why?
Archer made his England debut in May 2019 and two months later bowled the super over that ensured England’s World Cup victory.
He made his Test debut in the Ashes, finishing the five-match series with 22 wickets at an average of 20.27.
Australian pace bowler Cummins was the leading wicket-taker in that series, claiming 29 wickets as Australia retained the Ashes.
Batsman Labuschagne first appeared in the Ashes as a concussion substitute for Steve Smith and went on to score four successive half-centuries.
He averaged 112 in the Australian summer and is third in the Test batting rankings after Smith and Kohli.
Harmer was part of the Essex side that won the County Championship and T20 Blast in 2019, taking 83 wickets and 10 five-wicket hauls in the Championship.
Perry was the leading run-scorer and wicket-taker as Australia successfully defended their Women’s Ashes title against England.
The all-rounder finished the multi-format series with 378 runs – including a Test century at Taunton – and 15 wickets. (BBC)