Stokes named cricketer of the year in ICC awards

Ben Stokes has been named men’s cricketer of the year in the International Cricket Council’s 2019 awards.

Stokes’ compelling performances underpinned England’s first World Cup win on home soil, not least his never-say-die innings in the dramatic Lord’s final, and his unforgettable match-winning 135 not out in the Ashes Test at Headingley was an instant classic.

Accepting the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, voted for by a panel of the media representatives and former players, Stokes said: “The past 12 months have been incredible for England cricket and to lift the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup for the first time was our greatest achievement.

“This award is testament to my team-mates and the support staff that have been there every step of the way. Fundamentally, without the support of these individuals, we would never achieved our objective of lifting a major trophy.

“There is an incredible bond between team-mates and to savour our achievements, whether that’s winning the World Cup final at Lord’s or digging deep to win a Test match against Australia at Headingley.

“It is satisfying you can accomplish these superb highs together. The last 12 months have been the best in my career, and I believe what we attained will be the catalyst to achieve further success over the next few years.”

Stokes showcased his compelling all-round skills throughout the voting period,scoring 719 runs and taking 12 wickets in 20 one-day internationals as well 821 runs and 22 wickets in 11 Tests.

There were also several memorable catches, including his one-handed leaping effort in the World Cup curtain-raiser against South Africa.

The 28-year-old was also named in both ICC teams of the year. He was the only English representative in the Test XI, but was joined by wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in the ODI side. The likes of Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan and Chris Woakes all played key roles at the World Cup but were edged out.

Australia also fared well in the voting, with fast bowler Pat Cummins named Test player of the year for his best-in-class haul of 59 wickets – 14 more than his nearest rival – and prolific batsman Marnus Labuschagne winning emerging player of the year.

He flourished after becoming Test cricket’s first ever concussion substitute when Jofra Archer floored Steve Smith at Lord’s, averaging 64.94.

“It’s a tremendous honour to be considered the best player of last year and one which was certainly unexpected,” said Cummins.

“The highlight was certainly being able to retain the Ashes which was a great reward for the hard work that went into that tour.”

India opener Rohit Sharma was ODI player of the year, having scored seven 50-overs centuries including five at the World Cup.

England’s Richard Illingworth picked up the umpiring gong, Deepak Chahar’s spell of six for seven for India against Bangladesh was named best Twenty20 performance and Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer was recognised as associate cricketer of the year.

India captain Virat Kohli was honoured in the Spirit of Cricket category, having encouraged fans at The Oval to clap Australian pair Steve Smith and David Warner when they were being booed about their role in the sandpaper scandal.

“I’m surprised that I have got it, after many years of being under the scanner for the wrong things,” he said.

“It is part of camaraderie that sportsmen must have with each other. You can sledge, can have have banter on the field, you say things to the opposition in wanting to beat them. But booing someone is not in the spirit of any sport, I don’t endorse it.”

ICC Test Team of the Year: M Agarwal (Ind), T Latham, (NZ), M Labuschagne (Aus), V Kohli (Ind,c), S Smith (Aus), B Stokes (Eng), BJ Watling (NZ, wkt), P Cummins (Aus), M Starc (Aus), N Wagner (NZ), N Lyon (Aus).

ICC ODI Team of the Year: R Sharma (Ind), S Hope (WI), V Kohli (Ind, c), B Azam (Pak), K Williamson (NZ), B Stokes (Eng), J Buttler (Eng, wkt), M Starc (Aus), T Boult (NZ), M Shami (Ind), K Yadav (Ind).