Ben Stokes wins player of the year award after World Cup and Ashes heroics

The Independent

The Independent

Author 2019-10-03 16:37:44

Ben Stokes said he may have to wait until retirement before he can fully comprehend his phenomenal 2019 after being named Players’ Player of the Year at the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) awards.

All-rounder Stokes played a starring role in England’s maiden World Cup win in July before repeating his heroics to help salvage an Ashes draw with Australia.

The 28-year-old Durham player was honoured for those achievements by scooping the Reg Hayter Cup ahead of fellow nominees Simon Harmer, Ryan Higgins and Dom Sibley.

Somerset’s Tom Banton picked up the PCA Young Player of the Year, while England bowler Sophie Ecclestone collected the Women’s Player of the Summer.

Speaking at the PCA awards ceremony in London, Stokes said: “It’s a proud moment to win the award. I think that is because it’s voted for by everyone else, the other players.

“In terms of reflection, I think there will come a time where I will be able to take it all in, but I don’t think that will come until I retire really, because it all comes so thick and fast. This will definitely be a summer that I will be able to look back on forever.”

Asked if it was the best year of his career to date, he replied: “Yeah, definitely.

“Winning the World Cup was an amazing feeling to be a part of – seven weeks of hard toil to then walk away with the World Cup was brilliant, and then a great Ashes series to be part of.

“This will take some beating, but hopefully it does happen.”

Stokes won the Young Player award in 2013 and with his victory on Wednesday became only the sixth player ever to collect the PCA’s top two male honours.

Stokes’ summer heroics have ensured he is favourite for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award (PA)

Having started the World Cup with an outstanding catch in the curtain-raiser against South Africa, Stokes’ unbeaten 84 against New Zealand in the final was central to England winning the competition for the first time.

He followed that up with a sensational 135 not out against Australia at Headingley, a standout innings in an Ashes series where his 441 runs at an average of 55.12 were his team’s best aggregate total.

Despite Australia retaining the urn courtesy of a 2-2 series draw, Stokes’ Herculean efforts in recent months mean he is the favourite with bookmakers to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

England captain Joe Root paid tribute to his team-mate, saying he was unsurprised by Stokes’ performances during an unforgettable summer.

“He’s awesome, he really is,” Root said. “He’s a massive driving force of this team, one of the senior players across the board.

“He works extremely hard behind the scenes at his own game, helps other lads around the dressing room.

“And I’m not one bit surprised by the success he’s had this year – I’ve seen it coming a long time off.

“I couldn’t be more delighted for him, a brilliant vice-captain, one of those players you want in the big moments in the big games.”

Young Player of the Year Banton has been included in England’s Twenty20 squad for the winter tour to New Zealand after amassing more than 1,000 runs across the two domestic limited-overs competitions.

Other award winners included ODI Player of the Summer Chris Woakes, Test Player of the Summer Stuart Broad, and County Championship Player of the Year Harmer.



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