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Six players not in the frame to be a Wisden Cricketer of the Year

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

The Wisden Cricketer of the Year award is one of cricket’s most prestigious, and the next quintet of winners are set to be revealed this week.

Famously, the award comes with a couple of caveats: if you’ve won the award once, you can’t win it again, and only performances from the English cricketing summer come in for consideration.

A list that has been growing since 1889 will have five more additions in 2022. The following six players enjoyed success on English soil last year, but don’t make the cut this time, having already made the list in the past. So don’t be alarmed when they aren’t among the Five this time around.

Joe Root

Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2014

Easily the first name on this list, given his magical run of form across 2021, including the English summer where he cracked three of his six Test centuries last year. His majestic 109 at Trent Bridge was arguably the pick of the bunch, but the tons at Lord’s and Headingley weren’t too far behind. If that wasn’t enough, Root even cracked a couple of unbeaten ODI half-centuries against Sri Lanka in the only two one-dayers he played last summer. A purple patch to remember.

Root already won the award in 2014 after a breakthrough season of Test cricket, including becoming the youngest England batter, at 22, to score an Ashes hundred the previous year.

Rory Burns

Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2019

The other batter apart from Root to hit four Test half-centuries in the summer, Burns might have had a bitter end to the year, but was largely solid at home. It began with a resolute hundred in response to Devon Conway’s Lord’s double century on debut, and included a valuable 89 against the same opponents in Birmingham, and even though his form tailed off thereafter, Burns stroked a couple of half-tons to retain his place for the Ashes.

Burns won the award three years ago – following a fifth successive 1,000-run domestic season, and a Championship win as Surrey captain, he broke into the Test side.

James Anderson

Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2009

If repetitions were allowed, Anderson would have surely been on the list a few more times. His timeless brilliance was evident through the summer, where he kept chipping away with wickets, taking 18 across six games, including visits from New Zealand and India. At Lord’s, against India, he claimed his 31st five-for, the oldest in 70 years to take five in an innings, and went on to pierce through the Indian top order with 3-6 at Leeds.

Anderson was named a Wisden Cricketer well over a decade ago, after the 2008 summer that saw him tear through New Zealand and South Africa at home.

Heather Knight

Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2018

Brilliant across formats, Heather Knight ticked past 3,000 ODI runs in the summer, while also taking her 50th wicket in the format. A fine hundred against New Zealand and a couple of useful T20I knocks versus India kept the runs flowing. She fell five short of a Test hundred against India, but still led the side with aplomb, further establishing her reputation as an all-time great.

In 2018, she was named a Cricketer of the Year, having led England to a memorable World Cup win the previous year.

Tammy Beaumont

Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2019

England’s incumbent opener was in her element through the summer, starting off with the ODIs against India with an unbeaten 87, and finishing the one-day leg with an authoritative ton against New Zealand. Beaumont agonisingly fell three short of what would have been her second T20I hundred, against the Kiwis, and also scored a fine 66 in the lone Test against India to truly enjoy all-format success.

Beaumont’s Cricketer of the Year award came in 2019, enjoying a summer to remember the previous year, scoring three hundreds in nine days.

Virat Kohli

Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2019

He might be currently going through a batting rut given his lofty past, but Kohli was still a pivotal figure in India’s 2-1 series lead in England, leading the troops with verve after the disappointment of missing out on a World Test Championship win. On the personal front, he teased with promising starts, hitting a couple of fine fifties at Leeds and The Oval, even though he didn’t quite hit the sort of form on his 2018 visit.

A prolific last tour, four years ago, saw him become a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2019, the same year he was also named Wisden’s Leading Cricketer of the Year.

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