Ben Stokes was yesterday named the International Cricket Council (ICC) Player of the Year, capping an unforgettable year for the swashbuckling England all-rounder that included a match-winning knock at the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Stokes won the coveted Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy — voted for by a panel of media representatives and former players — thanks to an unbeaten 84 in a dramatic final against New Zealand in July last year, followed by a brilliant 135 not out to win the third Ashes Test against Australia six weeks later.
Stokes, 28, said that it was a huge honor for any cricketer to receive such an award.
“To be recognized and be the person to win that [award], it’s pretty amazing,” he said in a video statement.
During the voting period, Stokes aggregated 719 runs and bagged 12 wickets in 20 one-day internationals (ODIs). He also scored 821 runs and took 22 wickets in 11 Tests.
However, the New Zealand-born star said that his award was not solely for him as an individual.
“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,” Stokes said.
“This award is testament to my teammates and the support staff that have been there every step of the way,” he said.
Stokes, who carried his form into this year with a man-of-the-match performance in the second Test victory over South Africa last week, said that the strong bonds between players can lead to further success.
Indian opener Rohit Sharma was named the ODI Cricketer of the Year, while captain Virat Kohli bagged the Spirit of Cricket award for his gesture to stop fans from booing Australia’s Steve Smith during a World Cup match.
Smith was returning to international cricket from a one-year suspension for changing the condition of the ball.
Kohli was also named captain of both the ICC Test and ODI teams of the year.
In other major awards, Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins was named the Test Player of the Year and teammate Marnus Labuschagne was declared Emerging Cricketer of the Year.
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