England all-rounder Ben Stokes defined the year of Test cricket more than any other in 2022 and has been deservingly named the winner of the ICC Men's Test Cricketer of the Year award.
In 15 Tests played in 2022, Stokes scored 870 runs, including two centuries, at 36.25 average and scalped 26 wickets. On the basis of his numbers alone, England's talismanic all-rounder Ben Stokes had an excellent year in the whites of international Test cricket.
But sometimes the game is about more than just numbers, and in 2022 Stokes – along with new England head coach Brendon McCullum – completely transformed the form, fortunes and style of England Men's Test team.
Players and teams have played extremely attacking cricket before. But Stokes has delivered a new level for his consistent commitment to England's entertaining and aggressive approaches with bat, ball and in the field.
Since taking over as England captain, Stokes has led the team to nine wins from 10 Tests, completing series victories over New Zealand and South Africa at home, beating India in the one-off postponed Test to level the series at 2-2, and hammering Pakistan 3-0 away from home – England's best ever margin of victory in the country.
Prior to his appointment as captain, England had been beaten in each of their four most recent completed series and had won just one of their previous 17 Tests.
As a captain Stokes was hugely impressive, setting clever traps with his fields and utilising his bowlers brilliantly throughout the year. He was also fair but decisive with his selection decisions, bringing in new faces when required but not afraid to leave out form players if the conditions merited it.
With the bat Stokes enjoyed a strong 2022, scoring 870 runs at an average of 36.25 and an aggressive strike rate of 71.21, notching up two centuries.