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Jack Leach buys painting of Ben Stokes’ Headingley celebration at PCA Awards ceremony

Ben Stokes and Jack Leach. (Photo Source: Twitter)

For England all-rounder Ben Stokes, 2019 has been a phenomenal year. He won a thrilling final for England in the World Cup at home and also picked a miraculous victory in the third Test against Australia at Leeds. Having slammed two consecutive centuries in the Ashes, Stokes ended up as England’s man of the series as the hosts drew the series 2-2.

On Wednesday, Stokes was awarded the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) Players’ Player of the Year Award in London. The New Zealand-born cricketer, whose career had come under the clouds over a brawl in a nightclub in Bristol in 2017, won the award for his high-quality show in the ICC World Cup in which he scored 465 runs and took seven wickets. In the Ashes, he scored 441 runs and took eight wickets.

Leach got a lifelong offer for free spectacles after Headingley win

And at the award-giving ceremony, there was something interesting to watch. Signed painting of an ecstatic Stokes after he hit the winning runs in the third Test at Headingley came up for auction at the PCA awards ceremony and none other than Jack Leach bought it. Leach was the other hero in that sensational Test match that England won by one wicket.

Chasing 359 to win, the hosts were down to 286 for nine when Leach, the bespectacled tail-ender, joined Stokes and the two added unbeaten 76 runs to take the Three Lions home. Leach had scored just one of those runs but it was invaluable. Stoke even requested the sponsors to look after Leach’s eye-care and they obliged by announcing free spectacles for him for life.

On Wednesday, happy scenes were witnessed at the PCA awards ceremony as Leach and Stokes embraced each other after the spinner took possession of the painting he would treasure all his life. On receiving the award, Stokes reminded the audience that it is, after all, a team sport. “While this is an individual award, it is within a team sport so I am only in this position because of what other guys in our squad have achieved as well,” Outlook cited agencies as quoting the 28-year-old as saying.

“What we have done as a team in 2019 is phenomenal, to win the World Cup and draw the Ashes has been a fantastic summer and something I am proud of personally and as a team.”

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