England sweep board in Wisden honours

Wisden, cricket's bible, has rewarded England for a year of almost unblemished success by naming five members of Michael Vaughan's side as its cricketers of the year. It is the first time this has happened in 45 years with Ashley Giles, Steve Harmison, Robert Key, Andrew Strauss and Marcus Trescothick repeating the feat of Ken Barrington, Donald Carr, Ray Illingworth, Geoff Pullar and Mike Smith in 1960.

Wisden, cricket's bible, has rewarded England for a year of almost unblemished success by naming five members of Michael Vaughan's side as its cricketers of the year. It is the first time this has happened in 45 years with Ashley Giles, Steve Harmison, Robert Key, Andrew Strauss and Marcus Trescothick repeating the feat of Ken Barrington, Donald Carr, Ray Illingworth, Geoff Pullar and Mike Smith in 1960.

There are many similarities. In the summer of 1959 Peter May's side won all five Test matches against India before winning a series in the West Indies. Under Vaughan - a previous winner of this award and therefore, like Andrew Flintoff, ineligible - 2004 began with a series victory in the Caribbean and was followed by seven consecutive Test wins against New Zealand and the West Indies.

They extended this run to eight - a record for England - when they defeated South Africa in Port Elizabeth, and it was only brought to an end when bad light saved the hosts from certain defeat in the second Test in Durban. During the period covered by the 2005 Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, England won 12 and lost only one of the 16 Test matches they played.

These honours are not solely bestowed on players who have performed with distinction in the international arena - they are also awarded to county cricketers who have put in years of endeavour - but each of the five made significant contributions to England's success.

Giles had his best year as an international cricketer and became only the 10th England player to achieve the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets. Harmison, despite a poor tour of South Africa, took 70 wickets in 16 Test matches and Trescothick made a valuable contribution with his consistency. Key scored 221 against the West Indies at Lord's and also played a key role for Kent.

Strauss has had an outstanding start to his Test career. "It is a huge honour to be named," he said, "especially when you look at the names preceding you. That all five are English is a testament to how far England have come in the last 12 months."

An Englishman, however, failed to capture Wisden's newest accolade: the leading cricketer in the world. This title was won by Shane Warne, who made a remarkable comeback after being banned for a year when he failed a drugs test, taking 92 wickets in 16 Test matches at an average of 24.5 since March 2004.

The leg-spinner, with 583 victims, is currently the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket and few would bet against him passing 600 during this summer's Ashes series against England.

Atapattu reaches double landmark for Sri Lanka

Marvan Atapattu, the Sri Lanka captain, hit a century in the opening Test against New Zealand in Napier yesterday to become the fourth player to score hundreds against all nine Test opponents.

Atapattu made 127 while his team-mate Mahela Jayawardene hit an unbeaten 118 to help Sri Lanka reach 351 for 3 before bad light ended play early on the third day at McLean Park.

The tourists were still 210 behind New Zealand's first-innings total of 561, but on a placid pitch offering little encouragement to the bowlers, a draw remains already the most likely outcome.

Atapattu crawled to his half-century in 119 deliveries but accelerated after lunch, reaching his hundred off 196 balls. He then went on to become the fourth Sri Lankan to make 5,000 Test runs before being caught by Stephen Fleming off the bowling of Nathan Astle.

He joins Gary Kirsten, Steve Waugh and Sachin Tendulkar as the only players to reach three figures against nine different Test opponents. "It's so special, thinking about the start that I had in Test cricket," Atapattu said. "I knew I was capable of scoring runs at this level and the faith in me helped me come back into the side again."

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Sport
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballArsenal vs QPR match report
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
News
i100
Sport
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
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

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all