England’s Ben Stokes and Ellyse Perry of Australia were on Wednesday named the Leading Cricketers of 2019 by Wisden Almanack. Meanwhile, hard-hitting West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell was named T20 Leading Cricketer of 2019.
After a remarkable 2019 in which he guided England to their maiden World Cup title, Stokes produced one of the great Test innings to beat Australia in the Headingley Ashes Test. The England mainstay played a key role in helping his country hoisting their maiden 50-over World Cup trophy last year. He compiled 465 runs in the tournament alongside picking up seven wickets. In the summit clash versus New Zealand at Lord’s, he composed a game-changing unbeaten hand of 84. Stokes succeeds India’s Virat Kohli, who had been honored by Wisden for three years running, and becomes the first English player since Andrew Flintoff in 2005 to be considered the best contemporary player in the world. “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”.
Australia’s all-rounder Ellyse Perry was named as the leading woman player in the world, an honor she also attained in 2016, and was also named as one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year – the Almanack’s oldest and most prestigious honor, which represents a tradition dating back to 1889. She is the seventh women’s cricketer to pick up the honor, and the first from overseas. She raised the bar a notch higher, scoring a century (plus 76 not out) in her only Test, and two more (both unbeaten) in ODIs, where she averaged 73. From six T20 international innings, she was dismissed once, averaging 150. On top of that were 21 one-day wickets at 13 apiece, and six in T20s. Meanwhile, Andre Russell took 46 wickets and scored 1,080 runs in T20 matches. Along with Perry, Wisden named Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne, Jofra Archer and Simon Harmer as the Five Cricketers of the Year.