Ben Stokes has been named the leading cricketer in the world by the sport’s “bible” Wisden for the second year in a row.

And the Cumbrian star is the first England player to take the honour twice since it was introduced back in 2003.

All-rounder Stokes, who grew up in Cockermouth, was saluted for his outstanding performances for his country in a year when he also suffered the devastating loss of father Ged.

The 29-year-old, who is currently sidelined with a broken finger, played a crucial part in helping England win five series out of five across two formats last year.

He follows Indian greats Virat Kohli and Virender Sehwag in winning the prestigious Wisden accolade more than once.

Speaking in the Mirror, for whom he is a columnist, Stokes said: “It is an honour to be named Wisden’s leading cricketer in the world for a second year running and it is not something I was expecting at all.

“There are some incredible players who have been named on this list and it is great to be added to it again.”

Stokes, whose dad Ged died in December after suffering from brain cancer, missed a period of England action in order to be with his father in New Zealand.

After scoring a century in South Africa, he celebrated with a bent finger in tribute to his dad, who had had part of a finger removed during his rugby league career.

Stokes has since said he will regularly use such a celebration in memory of Ged.

The Cumbrian is currently awaiting a second scan on the finger injury which is set to rule him out of the Indian Premier League, where he is with Rajasthan Royals.

The injury means Stokes could also be a doubt for the start of England’s Test summer, which gets under way in early June.

Wisden, meanwhile, named Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Mohammad Rizwan, Jason Holder and Darren Stevens as their five cricketers of the year.

Wisden editor Lawrence Booth added: “Ben Stokes becomes the first England player to be named Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World more than once, retaining the title he claimed in 2020. He did it all against a backdrop of personal tragedy: his father, Ged, died in December at the age of 65.”