Wisden’s 5 cricketers for 2005 – what a joke !

Wisden today announced the 5 cricketers of the year in its 2005 Almanack and surprise surprise, all of them are Englishmen – Andrew Strauss, Ashley Giles, Marcus Trescothick, Robert Key, Steve Harmison. When I first heard the names, my first reaction was that there was something seriously wrong. Probably, the only name that could be presented as one of the cricketers of 2005 was Andrew Strauss. But Robert Key ? – I wouldn’t be surprised if someone said “Robert, Who ? ” ! Also, people like Steve Harmison had a mediocre South Africa tour and so did Marcus Trescothick. As for Ashley Giles, I shall reserve my comments about his bowling, but I shall quote one of Geoffery Boycott’s famous lines about him – “I bet ya he cannot get my grandma out”!

What surprises me is that there were so many other players around the world who performed far better than most of the players mentioned. Players like Virendra Sehwag, Damien Martyn, Justin Langer, Anil Kumble, Glenn McGrath etc to name a few, had more successful 2004 than the 5 mentioned. So, this begets the question – is Wisden getting biased ? – was this list only for Englishmen ?. I agree that English cricket had a great year – probably the best ever, but that does not mean that the achievements of players around the world should get unnoticed.

When I was growing up, the Wisden Almanack was considered the Bible of cricket. Everything you wanted to know about the game, including rules, cricket fields, teams, players, statistics etc were present there. In other words, if it was not there in Wisden, then it was not worth knowing. That is why I feel sad with the list of the 5 cricketers of the year. Achieving the “Wisden Cricketer of the Year” is a prestigious award and all cricketers around the world strive hard to get it. Unfortunately, this year this has just been a shame !


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