New Delhi, April 8: England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been named as the leading cricketer in the world in the 2020 edition of Wisden Cricketer' Almanack. Stokes has been named for a remarkable show in 2019 when he guided England to their maiden World Cup trophy and his match-winning knock against Australia in the Headingley Test during the Ashes.
Stokes follows Virat Kohli, who was named as the Leading Cricketer of the year for the three successive years. The New Zealand-born cricketer became the first English player since Andrew Flintoff in 2005 to be picked up by Wisden Cricketer' Almanack.
He top-scored with an unbeaten 84 as England took the World Cup final into a super over, where Stokes and Jos Buttler scored 15 before the hosts won on the boundary count-back rule at Lord's.
"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."
"Last year, these pages urged [Stokes] to rediscover his mongrel as a matter of national urgency," Booth added in his Notes by the Editor.
Jofra Archer, another standout performer in England's World Cup and Ashes campaigns was named as one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year for 2019, along with Australia duo Marnus Labuschagne and Pat Cummins.
Labuschagne's introduction to the series came as a concussion substitute when Steve Smith was struck by a brutish Archer bouncer and he went on to make the number three position his own, averaging 112 in the Australian summer that followed.
Cummins underlined his status as the number one pace bowler in the world with 29 wickets against England in an urn-retaining 2-2 draw.
That is a standing Archer can certainly aspire to, having claimed 55 wickets across all formats in his breakthrough international year.
Wisden's five cricketers of 2019 were rounded out by Simon Harmer, the Essex spinner whose 83 wickets gave him 12 more scalps than any other bowler on the way to County Championship glory, and Ellyse Perry.
Here is the full list of winners:
Wisden Five Cricketers of the Year: Pat Cummins, Ellyse Perry, Jofra Archer, Simon Harmer, Marnus Labuschagne.
Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World: Ben Stokes.
Wisden's Leading T20 Cricketer: Andre Russell.
Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World: Ellyse Perry.
Wisden-MCC Photograph of the Year: Ben Stokes at Headingley.
Wisden Book of the Year: Cricket 2.0: Inside the T20 Revolution.