Ben Stokes has unseated Virat Kohli as the leading cricketer in the world, ending the India captain's three-year reign. The Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2020, published on Thursday, crowns Stokes as the sport's pre-eminent player - the first Englishman to receive the prestigious honour since Andrew Flintoff in 2005, report agencies.
The award is the latest to be bestowed upon the 28-year-old all-rounder following his heroic exploits last summer, when he inspired his team to an unforgettable triumph in the World Cup before producing one of the greatest innings of all time to win the Ashes Test at Headingley.
Stokes' other recent gongs include the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in December and the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy for ICC men's player of the year, but acclaim from the famous 'yellow book' has always held a special place in cricketing culture. Wisden also revealed their five cricketers of the year, led by Stokes' World Cup-winning teammate Jofra Archer.
The award can only be won once, ruling out all of those who have already had their moment, and is based primarily on performances during the English summer.
Of the remaining order, three are Australian with nods for Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne and Ellyse Perry - who also reclaimed the leading women's cricketer in the world title from Smriti Mandhana.
Cummins, currently ranked as the world's number one Test bowler by the ICC, was a dominant force as Australia retained the Ashes urn in a 2-2 series draw, taking 29 wickets at 19.62. He also contributed 14 wickets to his country's unsuccessful World Cup defence.
Labuschagne would have been considered a long shot for such recognition at the start of the summer but went from strength to strength after becoming international cricket's first concussion substitute after the brutal conclusion Archer versus Smith. He went on to average more than 50 and has gone from backup player to No 3 batsman in the Test standings.