Ben Stokes has been named as the ‘Cricketer of the Year’ by Wisden in its 157th Almanack. Stokes breaks an uninterrupted run by Virat Kohli of winning this honour for the last three years. Kohli had won this honour for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Stokes is the second England player to win this award in its 17-year history after Andrew Flintoff. Stokes has enjoyed his greatest year in international cricket in 2019/20 – the two of his biggest contributions being his knock in the ODI World Cup final and then in the Headingley Ashes Test, where he pulled off a heist along with No.11 Jack Leach.
Stokes scored a heroic 135 not out in the Headingley Test, including an edge-of-the-seat 76-run partnership with Leach. He had been named as the Man of the Match in the 2019 World Cup final barely months before that.
Could it really have been anyone else?
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) April 8, 2020
Five other cricketers have been named as Cricketers of the Year – Jofra Archer, Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne, Ellyse Perry and Simon Harmer.
While Archer has proved to be a phenomenon for England in the ODI World Cup and in Test cricket since then, has enjoyed a breakthrough year. The three Australians – Cummins, Labuschagne and Perry – all played crucial hands in helping the men’s and women’s Australian teams retain the Ashes urn on British soil.
Simon Harmer, the South African who spun Essex to their second Championship title in three years, joins them.
Writing in his notes the Wisden editor, Lawrence Booth, says: “Every so often, an England cricketer joins the national conversation. First among equals is WG Grace, because he put the sport on the map. But others have kept it there: Hobbs, Hutton, Compton, Botham, Flintoff, Pietersen and now Stokes. Of the three modern all-rounders, Stokes can be the greatest.”
List of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year since 2003
2003 – Ricky Ponting
2004 – Shane Warne
2005 – Andrew Flintoff
2006 – Muttiah Muralitharan
2007 – Jacques Kallis
2008 – Virender Sehwag
2009 – Virender Sehwag
2010 – Sachin Tendulkar
2011 – Kumar Sangakkara
2012 – Michael Clarke
2013 – Dale Steyn
2014 – Kumar Sangakkara
2015 – Kane Williamson
2016 – Virat Kohli
2017 – Virat Kohli
2018 – Virat Kohli
2019 – Ben Stokes