The Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World is an annual cricket award selected by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack to honor the cricketer based upon their performances anywhere in the world in the previous calendar year.
- It was established in 2004.
- 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.
- In the 2000 edition, the editor Matthew Engel recognized 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The recipient of the award is selected by the editor of Wisden, with advice from cricket experts.
Wisden Leading Cricketer in World Award Winners list
Following are the list of Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World Award Winners since its established year(2004).
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.
|2006||Muttiah Muralitharan||Sri Lanka|
|2007||Jacques Kallis||South Africa|
|2011||Kumar Sangakkara||Sri Lanka|
|2013||Dale Steyn||South Africa|
|2014||Kumar Sangakkara||Sri Lanka|
|2015||Kane Williamson||New Zealand|
A notional list of previous winners, spanning from 1900 to 2002, was published in the 2007 edition of Wisden.
- 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”.
- 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”
- No players were named for the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World Award in 1916 or 1917, as the First World War prevented any first-class cricket being played in England, while in 1918 and 1919 the recipients were five schoolboy cricketers.
- From 1941 to 1946, the Second World War caused the same issue and no players were named for the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World Award.
|1900||K. S. Ranjitsinhji||England|
|1901||C. B. Fry||England|
|1903||C. B. Fry||England|
|1907||Bert Vogler||South Africa|
|1910||Aubrey Faulkner||South Africa|
|1915–18||Not awarded due to World War I|
|1940–45||Not awarded due to World War II|
|1950||Frank Worrell||West Indies|
|1954||Clyde Walcott||West Indies|
|1958||Garfield Sobers||West Indies|
|1960||Garfield Sobers||West Indies|
|1962||Garfield Sobers||West Indies|
|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|
|1973||Barry Richards||South Africa|
|1975||Clive Lloyd||West Indies|
|1976||Viv Richards||West Indies|
|1978||Viv Richards||West Indies|
|1980||Viv Richards||West Indies|
|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|
|1991||Curtly Ambrose||West Indies|
|1994||Brian Lara||West Indies|
|1995||Brian Lara||West Indies|
|1996||Sanath Jayasuriya||Sri Lanka|
|2000||Muttiah Muralitharan||Sri Lanka|