Alastair Cook and Tim Bresnan on Wisden's cricketers of the year list

 

Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara has become the first man to be named simultaneously as Wisden's leading cricketer in the world and one of its five cricketers of the year.

The elegant left-hander compiled 2,267 international runs in the three formats last year - no other player broke 2,000 - with five centuries and 13 fifties, and uniquely reached four figures in both Tests and one-day internationals for the third time.

A century in probably his last Test on English soil at Hampshire helped ensure he was named as one of the cricketers of the year, the award conferred by the publication's editor - a mantle taken on this year by Lawrence Booth - on the individuals who have most shaped the English cricketing summer, and which a player can win only once.

"I had always wanted a Test hundred at Lord's but, if that was not to be, then anywhere in England," Sangakkara tells David Hopps in the Almanack, published tomorrow.

"The Rose Bowl felt as if it might be my last opportunity."

Sangakkara also won praise for his delivery of the MCC's Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture, reproduced in part in Wisden, in which he confronted the level of government interference in his country's cricket.

"Writing that speech became a deeply personal experience," he adds.

"I knew there were ways it could be misinterpreted, but it was a story I felt I needed to tell."

Joining the 34-year-old as cricketers of the year are fellow veterans Glen Chapple, Lancashire's title-winning captain and talisman, and Worcestershire seamer Alan Richardson, the leading wicket-taker in Division One of last season's LV= County Championship with 73.

England pair Alastair Cook, with 927 Test runs at an average of 84 in addition to his return to the one-day international side as captain, and Tim Bresnan - who took 21 Test wickets at 19, scored 189 runs at 63 and finished the summer with a 100% winning record from 10 Tests - complete the quintet.

Richardson said: "To be recognised along world-class cricketers such as Alastair Cook, Tim Bresnan, Glen Chapple and Kumar Sangakkara is a real honour."

Elsewhere in the Almanack, Booth uses his first editor's notes to address a wide spread of topics, most notably the global shifting of focus towards Twenty20 cricket and the role of the Board of Control for Cricket in India in the governance of the world game.

Describing T20 as "a Pandora's Box masquerading as a panacea", Booth adds: "Outside England, the Test match increasingly resembles the quiet zone of world cricket's gravy train: respected in theory, ignored in practice.

"The real damage is being done by the prevalence of the two-match series. For any series not involving Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, three Tests must be the minimum."

On the BCCI's power, Booth - the youngest Wisden editor in 72 years - writes: "India have ended up with a special gift: the clout to shape an entire sport. But too often their game appears driven by the self-interest of the few.

"Other countries run the game along self-serving lines too ... but none wields the BCCI's power, nor shares their responsibility."

* Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2012: 149th Edition, published April 12, 2012 by John Wisden & Co.

Rival Roses all-rounders Bresnan and Chapple both gave their reaction this morning to their selection as cricketers of the year.

Yorkshireman Bresnan said: "It's a very select membership and I'm over the moon to receive such a prestigious honour.

"To be included alongside the four other players this year and the great names of the past is very special indeed."

Chapple told the Lancashire website: "Obviously it's a great honour and something usually reserved for international cricketers. I'm really pleased.

"It's a testament to how the lads have played as a team. My performances on their own wouldn't have won me this award, so I put it down to a great team effort this last year."

The five winners each receive an inscribed leather-bound edition of the Almanack and Chapple quipped: "That'll be great - I'll have a bookcase built."

PA

Suggested Topics
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker