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

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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.
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.
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.
“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.” 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.
‘The greatest events’ Stokes, writing in the Daily Mirror, said he does not expect life outside the sport to change too much, saying his wife Clare, a school teacher, and two children, six-year-old son Layton and daughter Libby, four, are his rock.
“Clare has been brilliant and so supportive throughout the years,” said the 28-year-old all-rounder, who was born in New Zealand but moved to England aged 12.
“Getting home with Clare and the family whenever I can is so important to me and now this game is done I just cannot wait to be back home for five days and cut the grass.
“I love playing cricket, but you need to be able to get away from the game and that is where your home and your family keep you grounded.”
Botham — who also contributed six wickets in the Australians first innings in the 1981 Test and a half-century in England’s terrible first innings — would not compare his and Stokes’s performances.
“I don’t compare the two innings,” said Botham. “There were different circumstances, different conditions and a different pitch. “I was just delighted to have witnessed one of the greatest events in cricketing history.”—Agencies