Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World

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Don Bradman
Don Bradman has won the award the most times, being named as the notional winner ten times between 1930 and 1948.

The Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World is an annual cricket award selected by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. It was established in 2004, to select the best cricketer based upon their performances anywhere in the world in the previous calendar year.[1] A notional list of previous winners, spanning from 1900 to 2002, was published in the 2007 edition of Wisden.[2]

Since 1889, Wisden has published a list of Cricketers of the Year, typically selecting five cricketers that had the greatest impact during the previous English cricket season. However, in the 2000 edition, the editor Matthew Engel recognised that the best players in the world were typically no longer playing English domestic cricket, and opted to select the Cricketers of the Year based on their performances anywhere in the world.[3] This criterion was applied for the following three years, but in 2004 it reverted to being based on the English season, and a Leading Cricketer in the World was also selected.[1] The recipient of the award is selected by the editor of Wisden, with advice from cricket experts.[4] An Australian, Ricky Ponting was chosen as the first winner of the award, for scoring 1,503 runs in international cricket, including eleven centuries during 2003.[5]

In the 2007 edition of Wisden, a list of winners for previous years was published. A sixteen-person panel helped to select the winners, which Engel described as the cricketer that "would have been the first name down in the World XI to play Mars".[2] It was decided that the first year that would be listed was 1900, as prior to that Engel claimed international cricket was too "inchoate and haphazard to make comparison sensible".[2] No awards were made for the periods of the World Wars, leaving a list of 93 winners. During this selection, Don Bradman was listed the most, winning on ten occasions, while Garfield Sobers was the leading cricketer eight times. Engel noted that despite attempts to the contrary, the award maintains cricket's bias towards batsmen.[2]

List of award winners[edit]

Actual winners[edit]

Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara was twice recognised by Wisden in 2012, being named a Cricketer of the Year and Leading Cricketer in the World.
  • Note that each year's Leading Cricketer of the World is announced in the following year's Wisden, so the 2003 winner was announced in 2004, and so on.
Year Player[6] Country
2003 Ricky Ponting  Australia
2004 Shane Warne  Australia
2005 Andrew Flintoff  England
2006 Muttiah Muralitharan  Sri Lanka
2007 Jacques Kallis  South Africa
2008 Virender Sehwag  India
2009 Virender Sehwag  India
2010 Sachin Tendulkar  India
2011 Kumar Sangakkara  Sri Lanka
2012 Michael Clarke  Australia
2013 Dale Steyn  South Africa
2014 Kumar Sangakkara  Sri Lanka
2015 Kane Williamson  New Zealand
2016 Virat Kohli  India
2017 Virat Kohli  India

Notional winners[edit]

Ranjitsinhji
Ranjitsinhji was the first historical winner, being recognised for 1900.
Jack Hobbs
Jack Hobbs is one of only five players to have won the award more than twice.
Harold Larwood
Harold Larwood was the only non-Australian cricketer to be recognised in the 1930s.
Keith Miller
Keith Miller reading Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in 1951, his selection year
Garfield Sobers
Garfield Sobers (pictured here in 2012) was the winner eight times between 1958 and 1970.
Viv Richards
Viv Richards was recognised in 1976, 1978 and 1980
Imran Khan
Imran Khan was the first Pakistani cricketer to be recognised, for 1982.
Year Player[6] Country
1900 K. S. Ranjitsinhji  England
1901 C. B. Fry  England
1902 Victor Trumper  Australia
1903 C. B. Fry  England
1904 Bernard Bosanquet  England
1905 Stanley Jackson  England
1906 George Hirst  England
1907 Bert Vogler  South Africa
1908 Monty Noble  Australia
1909 Wilfred Rhodes  England
1910 Aubrey Faulkner  South Africa
1911 Victor Trumper  Australia
1912 Sydney Barnes  England
1913 Sydney Barnes  England
1914 Jack Hobbs  England
1915–18 Not awarded due to World War I
1919 Jack Gregory  Australia
1920 Herbie Collins  Australia
1921 Charlie Macartney  Australia
1922 Jack Hobbs  England
1923 Patsy Hendren  England
1924 Maurice Tate  England
1925 Jack Hobbs  England
1926 Charlie Macartney  Australia
1927 Bill Ponsford  Australia
1928 Tich Freeman  England
1929 Wally Hammond  England
1930 Don Bradman  Australia
1931 Don Bradman  Australia
1932 Don Bradman  Australia
1933 Harold Larwood  England
1934 Don Bradman  Australia
1935 Stan McCabe  Australia
1936 Don Bradman  Australia
1937 Don Bradman  Australia
1938 Don Bradman  Australia
1939 Don Bradman  Australia
1940–45 Not awarded due to World War II
1946 Don Bradman  Australia
1947 Denis Compton  England
1948 Don Bradman  Australia
1949 Len Hutton  England
1950 Frank Worrell  West Indies
1951 Keith Miller  Australia
1952 Len Hutton  England
1953 Alec Bedser  England
1954 Clyde Walcott  West Indies
1955 Frank Tyson  England
1956 Jim Laker  England
1957 Peter May  England
1958 Garfield Sobers  West Indies
1959 Richie Benaud  Australia
1960 Garfield Sobers  West Indies
1961 Alan Davidson  Australia
1962 Garfield Sobers  West Indies
1963 Fred Trueman  England
1964 Garfield Sobers  West Indies
1965 Garfield Sobers  West Indies
1966 Garfield Sobers  West Indies
1967 Graeme Pollock  South Africa
1968 Garfield Sobers  West Indies
1969 Graeme Pollock  South Africa
1970 Garfield Sobers  West Indies
1971 Mike Procter  South Africa
1972 Dennis Lillee  Australia
1973 Barry Richards  South Africa
1974 Jeff Thomson  Australia
1975 Clive Lloyd  West Indies
1976 Viv Richards  West Indies
1977 Dennis Lillee  Australia
1978 Viv Richards  West Indies
1979 Greg Chappell  Australia
1980 Viv Richards  West Indies
1981 Ian Botham  England
1982 Imran Khan  Pakistan
1983 Kapil Dev  India
1984 Joel Garner  West Indies
1985 Richard Hadlee  New Zealand
1986 Malcolm Marshall  West Indies
1987 Martin Crowe  New Zealand
1988 Malcolm Marshall  West Indies
1989 Allan Border  Australia
1990 Graham Gooch  England
1991 Curtly Ambrose  West Indies
1992 Wasim Akram  Pakistan
1993 Shane Warne  Australia
1994 Brian Lara  West Indies
1995 Brian Lara  West Indies
1996 Sanath Jayasuriya  Sri Lanka
1997 Shane Warne  Australia
1998 Sachin Tendulkar  India
1999 Steve Waugh  Australia
2000 Muttiah Muralitharan  Sri Lanka
2001 Glenn McGrath  Australia
2002 Matthew Hayden  Australia

Multiple winners[edit]

Shane Warne
Shane Warne was listed twice in the historical list, as well as being recognised for 2004.

Unlike Wisden's Cricketers of the Year, players can be recognised more than once as the Leading Cricketer in the World, and eighteen players have been selected for multiple years.[6] The majority of these have won the award twice, but five players have been recognised for three or more years: Don Bradman, Garfield Sobers, Jack Hobbs, Viv Richards and Shane Warne. In the 2007 edition which published the notional historical winners, Engel noted with "surprise and pleasure" that these five players were the same as had been selected as Wisden's five Cricketers of the Century.[2]

Sachin Tendulkar and Warne have both been selected as notional and actual winners, while Virender Sehwag was the first player to be recognised twice by Wisden as an actual winner since 2004.[6] Kumar Sangakkara has since similarly been selected twice, and in 2012 he became the first player to be recognised twice in one edition of Wisden, as both Leading Cricketer in the World and a Cricketer of the Year.[7]

Player Awards Years
Don Bradman 10 1930, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1946, 1948
Garfield Sobers 8 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Jack Hobbs 3 1914, 1922, 1925
Viv Richards 3 1976, 1978, 1980
Shane Warne 3 1993, 1997, 2004
Sydney Barnes 2 1912, 1913
C. B. Fry 2 1901, 1903
Len Hutton 2 1949, 1952
Virat Kohli 2 2016, 2017
Brian Lara 2 1994, 1995
Dennis Lillee 2 1972, 1977
Charlie Macartney 2 1921, 1926
Malcolm Marshall 2 1986, 1988
Muttiah Muralitharan 2 2000, 2006
Graeme Pollock 2 1967, 1969
Kumar Sangakkara 2 2011, 2014
Virender Sehwag 2 2008, 2009
Sachin Tendulkar 2 1998, 2010
Victor Trumper 2 1902, 1911

Winners by country[edit]

Awards won by nationality (%)

  Australia – 35 (32.4%)
  England – 28 (25.9%)
  West Indies – 20 (18.5%)
  South Africa – 8 (7.4%)
  India – 7 (6.5%)
  Sri Lanka – 5 (4.6%)
  New Zealand – 3 (2.8%)
  Pakistan – 2 (1.9%)

Cricketers from eight of the ten Test playing nations have been recognised for the award by Wisden, only Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are not represented. Players from Australia and England dominate the list, having won more than half of the time, although this is disproportionately the case in the notional list. Prior to World War II, 34 of the 36 winners played for Australia or England. The "actual" award winners are more evenly distributed; Indian players have won four times, Australian and Sri Lankan players have won three times, South Africans twice, while only one English player has been recognised since 2004.[6]

Awards by country
Club Awards
 Australia 35
 England 28
 West Indies 20
 South Africa 8
 India 7
 Sri Lanka 5
 New Zealand 3
 Pakistan 2

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Engel, Matthew, ed. (2004). Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2004 (141 ed.). Alton, Hampshire: John Wisden & Co. Ltd. p. 8. ISBN 0-947766-83-9.
  2. ^ a b c d e Engel, Matthew, ed. (2007). Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2007 (144 ed.). Alton, Hampshire: John Wisden & Co. Ltd. pp. 32–41. ISBN 978-1-905625-02-4.
  3. ^ Engel, Matthew, ed. (2000). Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2000 (137 ed.). Guildford, Surrey: John Wisden & Co. Ltd. p. 61. ISBN 0-947766-57-X.
  4. ^ "Wisden's Leading Cricketer in the World". ESPNcricinfo. ESPN. 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Ponting named world's leading cricketer". ABC News. Sydney: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 7 April 2004. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Leading Cricketer in the World". Bloomsbury. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Kumar Sangakkara 'Leading Cricketer in the World' for 2011: Wisden". NDTV Sports. New Delhi: NDTV. 11 April 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2015.