Wisden Cricketers of the Century

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The Wisden Cricketers of the Century are five cricketers who were judged to be the most prominent players of the 20th century, as selected by a 100-member panel of cricket experts appointed by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in 2000. The 97 men and three women ("the doyenne of English women's cricket, Netta Rheinberg, the Pakistani journalist Fareshteh Gati and the Barbadian commentator Donna Symmonds"[1]) on the panel were each given five votes with which to select the list. In order of votes, the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century are:

Position Name Votes
1. Sir Donald Bradman 100
2. Sir Garfield Sobers 90
3. Sir Jack Hobbs 30
4. Shane Warne 27
5. Sir Viv Richards 25

Many of the panel complained that two of their five votes would be wasted, as they would almost certainly be cast for Bradman and Sobers. The editor of Wisden at the time, Matthew Engel, wrote that the only real deficiency of the list was the absence of a fast bowler in the top five places. Fast bowlers dominated cricket from the 1970s until at least the mid-1990s, and the most famous pre-war test series, Bodyline, aroused controversy because of England's fast bowling strategy designed to counter Bradman. The Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee was joint sixth in the overall list, selected by 19 of the panellists. The only specialist bowler in the top five is Shane Warne, who was a leg spinner. Warne was the only one of the five still playing when the list was published, and the only one never to have been knighted.

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