The world’s top-ranked Test bowler Pat Cummins has been lauded as the Test Cricketer of the Year by the International Cricket Council’s annual awards as Australia dominated the governing body’s Test Team of the Year.
Five Australians made the Test Team of the Year for 2019, recognition for a side that retained the Ashes on English soil for the first time in 18 years while book-ending the year with two-Test series sweeps of Sri Lanka and Pakistan at home.
Batsmen Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne earned selection to the Test Team of the Year, joining bowlers Cummins, Mitchell Starc and spinner Nathan Lyon, who has been named in the side for consecutive years.
Not since 2006 has Australia had five players named in the Test Team of the Year, when names like Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Mike Hussey featured in the side, with Brett Lee named as 12th man.
The breakout Ashes campaign and record-breaking home summer for Labuschagne saw him recognised as the Emerging Men’s Cricketer of the Year.
England allrounder Ben Stokes was named the Cricketer of the Year for his exploits during England’s maiden 50-over World Cup win and Test cricket performances, notably leading England to a memorable win at Headingley from an unlikely position in an engrossing drawn Test series.
Cummins is the first Australian to be named Test Cricketer of the Year since Steve Smith won it for his exploits in 2017.
The ICC honour comes on top of the Allan Border Medal Cummins won at the Australian Cricket Awards last summer.
Cummins was Test cricket’s most prolific wicket-taker in 2019 with 59 victims in his 12 Test matches in the calendar year, 14 more than next best, which was Lyon who had 45. It was the most prolific year for an Australian fast bowler since Mitchell Johnson took 63 wickets in 13 Tests in 2009.
Labuschagne was Test cricket’s most prolific run-maker in the 2019 calendar year, with 1,104 runs in 17 innings at an average of 64.94.
His rise to prominence has quickly become part of Australian cricket folklore – a surprise selection into Australia’s Test squad who’d failed to set the world alight in his initial appearances, he went to England in the winter, made a technical adjustment in county cricket to spark a run of form that saw him included in the Ashes squad. His chance came as Steve Smith’s concussion substitute and he rattled off four successive half-centuries before breaking through for his maiden Test ton at the Gabba.
Second on the list of run-scorers for 2019 was Smith, who made 965 runs in 13 innings at 74.23 in 2019, including striking centuries in both innings of his return to Test cricket at Edgbaston to give Australia a winning start to their Ashes campaign.
He followed that up with a brilliant double-century in the Old Trafford Test match after missing the previous game with delayed onset of concussion from the blow that gave Labuschagne his chance.
Labuschagne also scored three centuries in 2019, his tons coming in successive innings at home against Pakistan in Brisbane and Adelaide and then New Zealand in Perth, the later two of which were both against the pink-ball in day-night Test cricket.
Mitchell Starc became the only fast bowler to be the leading wicket-taker at two separate ODI World Cups in 2019, and set a new record for the most wickets in a single tournament with his 27 scalps in Australia’s run to the semi-finals where they were beaten by England.
Starc claimed two five-wicket hauls and took four wickets two other times in Australia’s 10 matches to finish with a tournament tally of 27-502 from 92.2 overs.
India’s Rohit Sharma was named ODI player of the year for his seven centuries, five of which coming in the 2019 World Cup.
The ICC had previously announced the women’s awards with Australia allrounder Ellyse Perry capping a stellar year of international cricket, winning the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award as the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year, and was also named the ODI Cricketer of the Year.
The 2019 women’s ICC awards were dominated by Australians with Alyssa Healy named T20I Cricketer of the Year, while a remarkable five Australians featured in the ICC’s ODI Tear of the Year, alongside four in the T20I side.
Aussie captain Meg Lanning was also recognised, named captain of the team of the year for both formats.
ICC Awards 2019
ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year: Ben Stokes (England)
ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year: Pat Cummins (Australia)
ICC Men’s ODI Player of the Year: Rohit Sharma (India)
ICC Men’s Emerging Player of the Year: Marnus Labuschagne (Australia)
Associate Player of the Year: Kyle Coetzer (Scotland)
Umpire of the Year: Richard Illingworth
Spirit of Cricket Award – Virat Kohli stopping the fans booing Steve Smith at the Oval
ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year: Ellyse Perry (Australia)
ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year: Ellyse Perry (Australia)
ICC Women’s T20I Player of the Year: Alyssa Healy (Australia)
ICC Women’s Emerging Player of the Year: Chanida Sutthiruang (Thailand)
ICC: Men’s Test Team of the Year: Mayank Agarwal, Tom Latham, Marnus Labuschagne, Virat Kohli (captain), Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Neil Wagner, Nathan Lyon
ICC: Men’s ODI Team of the Year: Rohit Sharma, Shai Hope, Virat Kohli (captain), Babar Azam, Kane Williamson, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav
ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year: Alyssa Healy (Australia, wk), Smriti Mandhana (India), Tamsin Beaumont (England), Meg Lanning (Australia, captain), Stafanie Taylor (West Indies), Ellyse Perry (Australia), Jess Jonassen (Australia), Shikha Pandey (India), Jhulan Goswami (India), Megan Schutt (Australia), Poonam Yadav (India)
ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year: Alyssa Healy (Australia, wk), Danielle Wyatt (England), Meg Lanning (Australia, captain), Smriti Mandhana (India), Lizelle Lee (South Africa), Ellyse Perry (Australia), Deepti Sharma (India), Nida Dar (Pakistan), Megan Schutt (Australia), Shabnim Ismail (South Africa), Radha Yadav (India)