Ben Stokes named Wisden's Leading Cricketer of the Year
England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been chosen as Wisden's Leading Cricketer in the World for the second consecutive year. Stokes has become the first England player to gain this recognition more than once. While the award for the Leading Woman Cricketer in the World went to Australian batter Beth Mooney, Kieron Pollard was named the Leading T20 Cricketer in the World. Here is more.
Stokes, who was earlier ruled out of the IPL due to a broken finger, claimed the prestigious after having put up an all-round show last year. He finished with most runs in Test cricket, having slammed 641 at a phenomenal average of 58.27. The tally also included two hundreds and two fifties. Stokes also took 19 wickets, and averaged just 18.73.
Stokes has become the only England player to be named Wisden's Leading Cricketer in the World more than once. He also bagged this award last year after his heroics in the 2019 World Cup and Ashes.
Among others, Australian batter Mooney has been named the Leading Woman Cricketer in the World. Mooney was the Player of the Tournament at the T20 World Cup in March 2020. She was the leading run-scorer, having racked up 259 runs at a remarkable average of 64.75. Mooney also scored an unbeaten half-century (78) in the final against India.
West Indies' Kieron Pollard was named the Leading T20 Cricketer in the World. He slammed as many as 59 sixes in several T20 competitions, with a staggering strike rate of 199.07. He averaged 53.58 with the bat last year. Pollard also won the Caribbean Premier League with Trinbago Knight Riders, and the Indian Premier League with Mumbai Indians.
Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens was named the fourth-oldest Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year at the age of 44, for his impressive run in the Bob Willis Trophy. Stevens' county team-mate Zak Crawley, was chosen another Cricketer of the Year, considering his recent feats for England. The duo is joined by England batsman Dom Sibley, WI all-rounder Jason Holder, and Pakistan wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan.
Former Australia Test captain Steve Waugh won the photograph of the year competition for capturing children playing cricket among sand dunes near Osian, India. Meanwhile, Wisden also marked 50 years of ODI cricket by naming the format's greatest player for each decade. These are: Viv Richards (1970s), Kapil Dev (1980s), Sachin Tendulkar (1990s), Muttiah Muralitharan (2000s) and Virat Kohli (2010s).