Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn, the three South Africans, along with Marlon Samuels of the West Indies and Nick Compton from England have been named Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year. Michael Clarke has been named as the Leading Cricketer of the Year.
The cricketers of the year are nominated for their achievements in the previous English summer – by the editor of Wisden – and Amla, Kallis and Steyn were honoured for their role in helping their team seal a famous 2-0 series win against England last year.
“Hashim Amla was the batting sensation of the summer, gracefully compiling South Africa’s first Test triple-century, and top-scoring in eight international innings out of 11,” said a statement released by Wisden on April 10 (Wednesday). “The only surprise about the selection of Jacques Kallis was that he hadn’t been chosen earlier. At The Oval, he made 182 and balanced South Africa’s attack superbly. His all-round excellence was a crucial difference between the sides.”
Dale Steyn, who took 15 wickets in the three Tests, “cemented his status as the world’s most frightening fast bowler,” according to Wisden, “ blowing England away on the final afternoon at The Oval, then undermining them in the Third Test at Lord’s”.
Speaking about the resilient Samuels, the release said, “He was a surprise package, excelling in the early English summer by scoring 31, 86, 117, 76* and 76 in the Tests for a struggling West Indies.”
Compton, the grandson of Denis Compton, a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1939, was honoured for his performance in the county championship, in what was the first instance of a grandfather and grandson achieving the distinction.
“Compton of Somerset and England Lions left all other county batsmen in his wake,” the release said, “scoring nearly 1,500 first-class runs at an average of almost 100, and earning himself a place on the winter tours of India and New Zealand.”
Clarke, meanwhile, was named the Leading Cricketer of the Year after a 2012 aggregate of 1,595 runs, including a score of 329 not out against India in Sydney.
“It began with 329 not out against India, the biggest Test innings ever played at the SCG, curtailed only by his own declaration, with Bradman’s (and Taylor’s) highest Test scores of 334 one hit away,” the release said of Clarke’s heroics.
“A double-century followed at Adelaide before, at the start of the 2012-13 season, free-hitting back-to-back doubles against South Africa. He rounded off the year with his ﬁrst century in a Boxing Day Test, against Sri Lanka. His score, 106, was also his calendar-year average; only Bradman, Sobers and Ponting before him had reached New Year’s Eve on such a plane. And his 2012 Test aggregate of 1,595 placed him nearly 350 runs clear of his nearest rival, Alastair Cook. Clarke becomes the third Australian after Ricky Ponting (2003) and Shane Warne (2004) to receive the Leading Cricketer in the World.”
Five Cricketers of the Year: Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn, Marlon Samuels, Nick Compton
The Leading Cricketer in the World: Michael Clarke, Australia
Wisden Schools Cricketer of the Year: Thomas Abell, Taunton School
Wisden–MCC Cricket Photograph of the Year: Anthony Au-Yeung of Photosport, New Zealand