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Wednesday Jan 15 2020

England star Stokes named ICC player of the year after landmark 2019

England cricketer Ben Stokes. Photo: AFP

DUBAI: Ben Stokes was Wednesday named the International Cricket Council player of the year, capping an unforgettable 2019 for the swashbuckling England all-rounder that included a match-winning knock at the World Cup.

Stokes was the unanimous choice for the coveted Sir Garfield Sobers trophy - thanks to his unbeaten 84 in a dramatic final against New Zealand in July followed by a brilliant 135 not out to win the third Ashes Test against Australia six weeks later in Leeds.

Also read: England star Stokes happy to swap 2019 success for father´s good health

Stokes, 28, said it was a huge honour for any cricketer to receive such an award. "To be recognised 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 ODIs. He also scored 821 runs and took 22 wickets in 11 Tests.

Also read: Stokes makes case for Test cricket as debate rages over 5-day format

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.

Also read: Stokes calls allegations of physical quarrel with wife ´irresponsible´

"I´m surprised that I have got it, after many years of being under the scanner for the wrong things," Kohli said in a statement put out by ICC.

"That moment was purely understanding an individual´s situation. I don´t think a guy who is coming out of a situation like that needs to be taken advantage of."

Also read: Ben Stokes is the 'Special One' for England cricket, says Botham

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.