Ben Stokes was cut above the rest in 2019. The year belonged to him. His performance in the World Cup and resilience in the Headingley Ashes Test puts him a notch above other cricketers in the previous calendar year.
If all this is not enough, his iconic celebration image after the Headingley Test win over Australia in the Ashes, has won the Wisden–MCC Photograph of the Year competition for 2019.
Ben Stokes’ iconic image was shot by Gareth Copley of Getty Images
After Joe Root was dismissed in Headingley, it was Ben Stokes’ gritty knock which helped the hosts cross the line. Jonny Bairstow played a cameo knock of 36 runs but failed to convert his start to a big score as wickets continued to stumble from the other end.
Meanwhile, Stokes remained contended, he picked on the odd balls and opened the attack on the opposition. His unbeaten 135-run knock was laced with 11 boundaries and eight hit over the fence. The celebration after the match-saving knock was cherry on the top and was well documented by Gareth Copley of Getty Images.
After playing the winning shot, Stokes opened his arm and spread it wide with the bat in his hand, which accompanied by a large scream — which displayed a sigh of relief on his face. It was indeed a remarkable moment in his career.
Gareth Copley scoops £2,000 for the iconic image
Gareth Copely was rewarded £2,000 for capturing the dramatic scene. According to a report in lords.org, “Copley rose to the top from over 650 entries from around the globe, depicting a wide variety of different portrayals of the game. However, in such an unforgettable English summer, there were understandably more images of England all-rounder Stokes submitted than any other individual player in the competition’s 10-year history.
One of the two runners-up also features another arresting image from a memorable year of international cricket,” the report said.
“Tom Jenkins, of The Guardian, captured the moment Jos Buttler ran Martin Guptill out at Lord’s, as England won their first ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Final.
The other runner-up was Kieran Hanlon, whose dreamy image of Somerset’s County Ground in Taunton, taken early on a misty morning, was perfectly framed via the use of a drone,” it added.