England all-rounder Ben Stokes on Wednesday was crowned as the ‘leading cricketer in the world’ in the 2020 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack for his pivotal role in the 2019 World Cup.
The 28-year-old played a leading role in England’s 50-over World Cup victory at home last year while his brilliant unbeaten knock of 135 helped the side to a thrilling one-wicket win over Australia in the third Ashes test at Headingley.
Andrew Flintoff was the last English player to win the award in 2005.
“Without him, this Almanack might have been another English hard-luck story,” editor Lawrence Booth said.
“Instead, it’s a celebration. Stokes is their all-weather cricketer, a giant come rain or shine.
“The next few years should be fun.”
Before Stokes, India captain Virat Kohli had won the award three straight times.
Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry was named as the leading woman player in the world while she also found a place as one of Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year.
England pace bowler Jofra Archer, Australians Pat Cummins and Marnus Labuschagne and Essex off-spinner Simon Harmer were the others.
Perry scored the highest runs and took the most wickets as Australia successfully retained their Women’s Ashes title against England last year.
“Ellyse Perry dominated the women’s Ashes like no one before her,” Booth said.