England star all-rounder Ben Stokes has won the Wisden Leading Cricketer award for the second time in a row, following his heroics in 2020. On April 15, when the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac was published, Stokes was named in this category. The Durham player has been in tremendous form in international cricket since the start of 2019.
In 2020, he represented England in seven Test matches, where he scored 641 runs at an average of 56.27. On top of that, he also picked up 19 wickets at an average of 18.73, which simply makes his overall numbers in Test cricket surreal. He also played six T20Is in 2020, scoring 126 runs while picking up six wickets.
With this, Stokes became the first England player to win this award for two successive years. Before Stokes, the last English player who won this award was Andrew Flintoff, who won it way back in 2005. The Wisden Editor, Lawrence Booth made a point to highlight this. “Ben Stokes becomes the first England player to be named Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World more than once, retaining the title he claimed in 2020. He did it all against a backdrop of personal tragedy: his father, Ged, died in December at the age of 65,” Lawrence said.
Before Strokes, Kohli won the award for three successive years in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Apart from Stokes, Wisden also named Beth Mooney as the leading Women’s cricketer of the year while Kieron Pollard got the award for the Leading T20 cricketer for the year. Kieron Pollard averaged 53.58 in T20 cricket last year. He scored his runs at a strike rate of 199.07 and smashed 59 sixes.