Ben Stokes named Wisden's leading cricketer

By Sports Desk April 08, 2020

Ben Stokes has been named the leading cricketer in the world for 2020 by Wisden.

Stokes ends India batsman Virat Kohli's three-year reign in possession of the honour and becomes the first Englishman since fellow all-rounder Andrew Flintoff to be considered the best player in the global game by the esteemed publication.

The body of work amassed by Stokes over the course of an outstanding 2019 made him an obvious frontrunner for such recognition.

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.

Remarkably, that was not Stokes' finest hour of the English summer, as he went on to score 135 not out to seal an enthralling one-wicket win over Australia in the fourth Ashes Test at Headingley – an innings to rank alongside the all-time greats in cricket's longest format.

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.

Perry was Australia's leading run-scorer (378) and wicket-taker (15) in the 2019 Women's Ashes and was also named the leading women's player in the world.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell is the leading T20 cricketer.

Related items

  • Abid unbeaten as Pakistan post daunting first-innings 510 Abid unbeaten as Pakistan post daunting first-innings 510

    Pakistan strengthened their grip on the second Test against Zimbabwe in Harare after an unbeaten 215 from Abid Ali allowed the tourists to declare on 510-8.

    And Zimbabwe were quickly reduced to 52-4 in reply by the end of day two as Pakistan closed on a dominant sweep of the two-match series.

    The touring side, who won the opener by an innings and 116 runs, resumed on 268-4 on Saturday and could not be slowed.

    It took Zimbabwe 54 balls to remove nightwatchman Sajid Khan (20), installed alongside Abid after a belated flurry of wickets on Friday, although Abid's scoring was only steady as Mohammad Rizwan and Hasan Ali also departed.

    The arrival of Nauman Ali at the crease prompted a huge partnership of 169 and the duo looked immovable at the close of the second session.

    Nauman was just seven shy of a maiden century, having been out for a duck in the previous match, and this looming milestone appeared to play into the thinking as Pakistan batted again in the evening.

    But after Nauman hit the first ball for four, he was stumped from the second and Babar Azam swiftly declared.

    That left time for the tourists to chase early wickets in the Zimbabwe innings and veteran Test debutant Tabish Khan found joy inside the second over as he trapped Tarisai Musakanda.

    Kevin Kasuza, captain Brendan Taylor and Milton Shumba also departed before the day was out, with Sajid continuing an enjoyable outing with his first Test wicket.

    The hosts again face a mountain to climb simply to send Pakistan in to bat for a second time, already with only six wickets remaining and 259 off the follow-on mark of 311.

    Making hay in Harare

    Abid scored centuries in two of his first three Test innings but had failed to supply a third since coming into this match. His average stood at 37.

    Now he has a first double-hundred and a batting average of 49.6. The batsman found an accommodating Zimbabwe attack but capitalised far more effectively than many of his team-mates.

    Well worth the wait

    Tabish made his first-class debut in 2002-03 but only now, aged 36, has been handed his chance in the Test arena.

    Not called into action until the sixth session of the match, he soon made up for lost time with just his sixth delivery, nipping back into Musakanda to set Pakistan on their way.

  • GCB investigating why CWI denied quartet retainer contracts GCB investigating why CWI denied quartet retainer contracts

    The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) has written to Cricket West Indies requesting a copy of the criteria used to award international retainer contracts and the report submitted by the selection panel on which the decision was made not to award international retainer contracts to Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd as well as Veerasammy Permaul.

    The missive to the CWI comes on the heels of the recent announcement by CWI of 18 players who were offered retainer contracts for the year July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022. Among those who were awarded were newcomers Kyle Mayers, Joshua Da Silva and Nkrumah Bonner, who had standout performances against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

    However, there were no contracts for the four Guyanese players, a troubling development for the GCB.

     “The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) notes with great concern the information that Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd were not awarded International Retainer Contracts by the Cricket West Indies (CWI),” the board said in a statement Friday.

    “The GCB is also concerned with the non-award of an International Retainer Contract to Veerasammy Permaul.”

    The GCB said it is not aware and was not informed of the criteria used for the award of international retainer contracts nor were any reasons given for the non-award contracts to the four players.

    “The non-award of International Retainer Contracts to these players by CWI is a matter of extreme concern to the GCB and to the Guyanese public and the GCB intends to fully investigate this matter,” the GCB said.

  • 'They must earn it' - CWI chief selector Harper insists players can only be rewarded for consistently high levels, if team is to progress 'They must earn it' - CWI chief selector Harper insists players can only be rewarded for consistently high levels, if team is to progress

    Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief of selectors, Roger Harper, believes it is an absolute necessity for players to get used to the idea of having to perform at the very top of their games in order to secure top-class retainer contracts.

    The omission of the likes of Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer, Shamarh Brooks, Shane Dowrich, Sheldon Cottrell, Rovman Powell, and Oshane Thomas from the international retainer contracts lists, for the upcoming year, has rubbed a few supporters the wrong way.  Particularly, based on the fact that fewer contracts were handed out this year.

    However, according to Harper, some players did not meet the minimum criteria for selection or simply did not display the quality need.

    “We have to accept that these are performance-based contracts.  So, the contracts are awarded based on performance during the evaluation period, as well as the selection panel must feel that the players must play a major role or form the nucleus of the team going forward,” Harper told members of the media on Thursday.

    “The players who were not awarded contracts their performances over the period did not meet the necessary criteria as well as you had new players who came to fore and performed, so they were offered contracts,” he added.

    “Going forward as a culture, if we want to see our team progress, if we want to see our team compete with the best in the world.  We have to be more conscious of the fact that we have to earn our stripes and we have to perform consistently.  I think our retainer contracts are given on that basis.”

    In addition to playing at least 50 percent of the games during the evaluation period, to be considered, batsmen must average at least 30 in Test and ODI cricket.  For T20Is players the player’s batting average and strike rate combined must be a minimum 150.

     

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.