'Great entertainer' Stokes clearly deserving of world's best honour, says Ford

By Sports Desk May 09, 2020

Ben Stokes was the only man who could feasibly have been named the leading cricketer in the world for 2020 by Wisden.

That is the view of former South Africa and Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford, who now leads Ireland.

Stokes ended Virat Kohli's three-year reign in possession of the honour when he was handed the award in April following a stunning 2019 for the England all-rounder.

The 28-year-old helped his country to Cricket World Cup success on home soil.

Stokes was also outstanding in a 2-2 Ashes series draw in which he produced one of the all-time great innings to seal victory in the third Test, scoring 135 not out to see England home by one wicket at Headingley.

"I can't see how [Stokes] couldn't be the recipient of the award," Ford told Stats Perform.

"He's just such a great entertainer, the attitude he shows on the field is just such a fantastic example for any cricketer. It's just a never-say-die attitude.

"At times, the team could be going through a really tough day, somehow he still seems to be enjoying that toughness. It's a freakish type of quality.

"There's a huge excitement for any cricket fan to watch this great entertainer. I mean, who doesn't want to watch batting and entertaining?

"And in the last year he's played these fantastic innings, he's done it before this last year, but in particular this last year he's been fantastic.

"Every single team in the world would want him to be playing for them, it's as simple as that."

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