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Ben Stokes named Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

16:04 8 Apr 2020

England World Cup hero Ben Stokes has won the Leading Cricketer in the World award which has been published today in the Wisden Cricketers' Almanac.

The award, established in 2004, is given to the best cricketer based upon their performances anywhere in the world in the previous calendar year.

The all-rounder, the first Englishman to claim the title since Andrew Flintoff in 2005, has unseated India captain Virat Kohli who held the honour for the past three years.

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

The England cricket team, led by Dubliner Eoin Morgan, won the World Cup in a dramatic final win against New Zealand last July.

Stokes played a massive part in taking the decider at Lords to a super-over and in turn getting the victory over the line.

"Last year, these pages urged [Stokes] to rediscover his mongrel as a matter of national urgency," Booth added in his notes.

"He did, and more: in the World Cup final and the Headingley Test, he was playing fantasy cricket.

"In between came an Ashes hundred at Lord's - normally a career highlight, scarcely a tremor on the Stokesograph.

"When England stumbled during the World Cup, losing to Sri Lanka and Australia, he stood tall.

"Without him, this Almanack might have been another English hard-luck story. Instead, it's a celebration. Stokes is their all-weather cricketer, a giant come rain or shine. The next few years should be fun."

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