England all-rounder Ben Stokes was on Wednesday named the International Cricket Council (ICC) player of the year following a remarkable 2019 that included match-winning knocks in the World Cup final and the Headingley Ashes Test.
Stokes emerged as the unanimous choice for the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy for his unbeaten 84 in the dramatic Lord's final against New Zealand in July and an equally brilliant 135 not out to win the third Ashes Test against Australia by one wicket in Leeds.
Stokes, 28, said it was a huge honour for any cricketer to receive the 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 amassed 719 runs and 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 the World Cup in England. Smith was returning to international cricket from a one-year suspension for changing the condition of the ball during the South Africa tour in 2018.
"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.
"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. Also, Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins was named the Test player of the year and teammate Marnus Labuschagne the emerging cricketer of the year.