English trio named among Wisden's cricketers of the year

Chris Woakes, Ben Duckett and uncapped seamer Toby Roland-Jones got the nod from cricket's prestigious annual, as well as Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq

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England pair Chris Woakes and Ben Duckett have been named as two of Wisden's five Cricketers of the Year, as well as a surprise nod for Middlesex's uncapped seamer Toby Roland-Jones.

All-rounder Woakes was named on Wednesday morning - alongside rising star Duckett, Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and all-time record runscorer Younis Khan and Roland-Jones - in this year's list of those to win cricket's oldest individual award.

Wisden notes: "This was the year Chris Woakes announced himself as an international-class all-rounder.

"He took 26 wickets at 16 apiece in four Tests against Pakistan - only Abdul Qadir has managed more in a series between the sides - and contributed regular runs down the order.

"His unbeaten 95 in the one-day international against Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge was a world record for a batsman at number eight or below."

Duckett's inclusion, in a category framed as ever around impact on the previous English summer, is a reminder of his prolific 2016 season rather than subsequent winter struggles on his maiden international tour of the sub-continent.

Misbah, meanwhile, is congratulated on his leadership at the age of 42 which took Pakistan to the top of the world rankings via a 2-2 Test draw referenced as "one of the most riveting series in England for years".

Wisden adds of the veteran captain: "... his celebratory press-ups [at Lord's] became one of the motifs of the year."

Roland-Jones capped a memorable summer with his Lord's hat-trick on the final evening of the Specsavers County Championship campaign to grab Middlesex's first title in 23 years from under the noses of back-to-back winners Yorkshire - leaving runners-up Somerset still unfulfilled.

Wisden names Virat Kohli, conqueror-in-chief of England in India, as its Leading Cricketer in the World following his prolific and sustained runscoring over "the year of his dreams".

As for England's 4-0 defeat there, Booth writes: "At Mumbai, they made 400, and lost by an innings; and they also lost by an innings at Chennai, after racking up 477, then conceding the highest total in their 983-Test history.

"A trip to India is a tough gig, especially when Virat Kohli has a glint in his eye and a score to settle. But 759-for-seven tough? Not even President Trump's most outrageous alternative fact could salvage that."

He cites a paucity of Test class spin as a major problem - but of Cook's decision to step down, adds: "He chose the right time to go.

"By his own admission, England's Test cricket had stagnated.

"Lacking the tactical acumen to influence a game on its own, Cook was half the leader when he wasn't scoring runs.

"That his team lost only four of his 17 Test series in charge was testament to a very English grit: understated, occasionally self-conscious, always bloody-minded. It proved an exhausting combination."

As well as defending Morgan's right to act on the "deeply personal" feeling of safety to which any individual is entitled, Wisden re-enters the debate on free-to-air broadcast of cricket in this country from 2020 - "a nice idea. Here's hoping it's not too late" - and has its say too on Durham's travails.

The nub is when it was decided by the England and Wales Cricket Board that the county should be relegated, and what are the ramifications of that exact timing.

"A leak from a meeting suggested the board knew in May, though they deny this," Wisden tells us.

"But the possibility of relegation - and all involved must have known it was a possibility - was not conveyed to Durham's players. They deserved to know."

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