Pat Cummins and Nat Sciver-Brunt Named as Wisden’s Leading Cricketers In The World In 2024

Pat Cummins and Nat Sciver-Brunt have been honored as the Leading Cricketers in the World in the 2024 edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, released recently.

Three Australians were selected as one of the Five Cricketers of the Year after an incredible Ashes campaign.

Pat Cummins and Nat Sciver-Brunt Named as Wisden’s Leading Cricketers in 2024

Australia‘s captain and star fast bowler, Pat Cummins, led his team to win over India in the 50-over World Cup in Ahmedabad in November and the ICC World Test Championship at The Oval in June. In the thrilling 2-2 drew series that took place in England last summer, he also managed his team’s victorious defence of the Ashes.

He replaces England’s Ben Stokes, who had won the title three times in four years—in 2020, 2021, and 2023—as the first Australian to be crowned Wisden’s Leading Cricketer since Michael Clarke in 2012.

“Pat Cummins retained the Ashes – thanks in no small part to his late-order runs in the First Test at Edgbaston – then led Australia to victory in the World Cup final in India,” stated Wisden editor Lawrence Booth. “After captaining Australia to success in the World Test Championship.” No other seamer in the history of cricket took more wickets in a Test match than he did in 2023.

Sciver-Brunt, on the other hand, has established herself as the best female cricket player of the present, especially considering her pivotal performance during the Women’s Ashes, when she scored consecutive ODI hundreds to force the multi-format series to extra innings.

She followed those efforts with an England record-tying 66-ball century against Sri Lanka, and the Mumbai Indians acknowledged her worldwide appeal in February at the first-ever Women’s Premier League auction, where her £320,000 price tag made her the highest-paid female team athlete in the United Kingdom.

Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year trophy, which a player can only win once in their career and is determined by their performance during the English home season, has an Anglo-Aussie flavour that reflects the exhilarating nature of the Men’s and Women’s Ashes, which were played concurrently in June and July 2023.

Also Read: Australia’s Dominance in World Cup 2023: Mastering the Art of Winning on the Big Stage

Three Australians are listed among the Five, including Ashleigh Gardner, an all-rounder who helped her side retain the Ashes with 12 wickets in the special Women’s Test at Trent Bridge. She is the first Australian woman to be selected a Cricketer of the Year since Ellyse Perry in 2020, and the tenth woman to get the honour since it was originally bestowed in 1889.

The other two Australians in the Five are Mitchell Starc, the top bowler with 23 wickets at 27.08, who also took 16 wickets in the World Cup victory, and Usman Khawaja, the top run-scorer in the Men’s Ashes with 496 runs at 49.60, including a series-defining hundred at Edgbaston.

Mark Wood, whose inclusion for the third Test at Headingley in the previous summer served as the impetus for England’s thrilling comeback in the series, is named alongside Harry Brook, the breakout star of the 2022–23 winter for the country.

According to Booth, “Wood turned the Ashes on its head.” “Taking five wickets at a pace of over 96 mph, he put Australia both literally and symbolically on the back foot. He took 14 wickets at an average of barely 20 runs each, helping England even the series after falling behind 2-0.

In the World Test Championship final, Travis Head’s match-winning innings of 163 off 174 balls earned him the Wisden Trophy for the year’s greatest Test performance. As the second recipient of Wisden’s most recent award, he replaces Jonny Bairstow. The Richards-Botham Trophy took the trophy’s place after it was previously challenged during England-West Indies Test series from 1963 to 2020.

The West Indian Hayley Matthews, who has won eight straight T20I match awards and averaged 88 with the bat at a strike-rate of 144, and 12 with the ball, is the other noteworthy award in this year’s publication. She is the first female to be named the Leading Twenty20 Cricketer.

Pat Cummins and Nat Sciver-Brunt Named as Wisden’s Leading Cricketers in 2024

This year’s Almanack continues to focus on the captivating character of the Ashes match, with Booth pointing out in his Notes by the Editor that England’s ultra-attacking “Bazball” style to the game has already increased interest in the Test series against the West Indies this summer.

“Amid the gloomy outlook for Test cricket, here was a glimmer of hope: proof that if you put on a show, bums will fill seats,” the writer said. “The 2023 Ashes proved to be just as entertaining as the 1981 and 2005 series. Had it not been for the weather in Manchester, Australia’s 1936–37 triumph, which remains the only series in Test history won by a team that was behind 2-0, could have even been matched.

“The final score was essentially incidental. Bazball felt like the people’s sport for the first time since English cricket disappeared behind a paywall: it quickly became well-known and was included in the Collins Dictionary.”

As befitted, Stuart Broad, one of the most lasting Ashes rivals of our day, ended the series with a flourish, taking his 604th and final Test wicket with the penultimate ball of the match. Booth praises him as “England’s maker of memories” in his Notes.

“The best players don’t simply rack up the numbers (though his final tally made you tired just thinking of it),” Booth stated. “They make an impact. Broad was the curator of the family album and England’s memory maker, even more so than [James] Anderson. There was a general consensus that England’s blood was pumping if Broad’s knees were.

Booth criticizes the game’s administrators for undermining the competitive nature of international cricket with an increasingly unfair split of the ICC’s revenues and calls for a reappraisal of the so-called Spirit of Cricket, a concept that came under intense scrutiny following Bairstow’s controversial stumping during the Lord’s Test. Booth makes these appeals elsewhere in his Notes.

“In the era of global television, the West Indians have been hardest hit among the major Test teams,” Booth stated. India’s share of the pie increased to 38.5%, or about $230 million, annually from less than 25%. The West Indies get $27.5 million, or 4.58%.

However, this is the situation cricket finds itself in: it is enslaved to the gloomy idea that market forces must be respected, while demeaning the West Indian game with patronising remarks when it is in dire need of hard currency. That’s abundant in the center container of crickets. Is it really so hard for the administration to allocate it based on need rather than greed?”

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