India’s men and women captains Virat Kohli and Mithali Raj have been named among Wisden’s leading cricketers of the year. Along with them three English women cricketers – Heather Knight, Anya Shrubsole and Nat Sciver – also made it to the Wisden’s five cricketers of the year.
The latest recognition has only added more feather to Kohli’s already illustrious cap. The India skipper, who is the reigning ICC player of the Year, was named as the leading male cricketer for the second successive year. The 29-year old enjoyed a stellar last year where he scored a staggering 2818 runs across all formats.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 18, 2018
On the other hand, Mithali, who led India to the world cup final last year, was recognized as the standout female year. She is currently the all-time leading run-scorer in women’s ODI.
The awards were announced on Wednesday. It was a historic occasion as three women cricketers made it to the list of five players. Claire Taylor (2009) and Charlotte Edwards (2014) are the only female cricketers to have previously been acknowledged. Knight, Shrubsole and Sciver had played important roles during England’s World Cup-winning campaign at home.
The criteria for the five Cricketers of the Year award revolve around performances in England, both in domestic and international cricket played in the country.
Wisden editor Lawrence Booth said England’s Cup triumph at Lord’s was a breakthrough moment for cricket.
“England’s World Cup triumph last July — when Shrubsole plucked the trophy from India’s grasp with a spell of five for 11 in 19 balls — was the story of the home summer,” Booth wrote in a column for the Daily Mail. “If the women hadn’t dominated this year, they might as well have been ignored for good.
📸 Introducing the 2017 Wisden-MCC Cricket Photograph of the Year!
— Lord's Cricket Ground (@HomeOfCricket) April 11, 2018
“Knight was the captain. And Sciver the star all-rounder. Sparkling so brightly that she had a shot named after her – the ‘Natmeg’. An ingenious deflection between her legs that was thought to be extinct. All three put women’s cricket on the map with a thud.”
Lawrence also praise the Indian duo in his column.
“Three of his five Test hundreds were doubles, and the other two unbeaten, and his 1,460 one-day international runs were unsurpassed,” Booth said.
“Mithali Raj made it an Indian double. After she was named the Leading Woman Cricketer in the World. In the course of captaining her country to within a whisker of the World Cup title, she became the leading run-scorer in the history of women’s one-day internationals, and completed her seventh successive half-century, another record,” he added.
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