Wisden Award
Wisden Award

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.

2003Ricky Ponting Australia
2004Shane Warne Australia
2005Andrew Flintoff England
2006Muttiah Muralitharan Sri Lanka
2007Jacques Kallis South Africa
2008Virender Sehwag India
2009Virender Sehwag India
2010Sachin Tendulkar India
2011Kumar Sangakkara Sri Lanka
2012Michael Clarke Australia
2013Dale Steyn South Africa
2014Kumar Sangakkara Sri Lanka
2015Kane Williamson New Zealand
2016Virat Kohli India
2017Virat Kohli India
2018Virat Kohli India
2019Ben Stokes England
2020Ben Stokes England


Notional list

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