Ben Foakes and Harmanpreet Kaur named among Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year
The Five Wisden Cricketers of the Year have been announced in the 2023 edition of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, with Tom Blundell, Ben Foakes, Harmanpreet Kaur, Daryl Mitchell and Matthew Potts this year’s winners.
Ben Stokes and Beth Mooney have been named as the Leading Cricketers in the World. Suryakumar Yadav picked up the Leading T20 Cricketer in the World title.
Kaur is the first India Women’s cricketer to be named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year, chosen primarily for her ODI century against England at Canterbury. She scored 143 runs off 111 balls and led India to their first ODI series victory in England since 1999. She also captained the side to a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Foakes was part of an England Test side that had an unprecedented home Test summer. They won six out of their seven Test matches and underwent a remarkable transformation under Brendon McCullum and Stokes. He was a crucial part of two of those wins, the first against New Zealand at Lord’s where he guided England home alongside Joe Root after coming in at five down with 118 still needed to win. Three months later at Old Trafford, he added 173 with Ben Stokes to level the series against South Africa, scoring his second Test century.
Blundell scored 383 runs across New Zealand’s three Test matches in England last summer, including a century in Trent Bridge. He also scored 96 in the second innings of the previous Test at Lord’s and an unbeaten 88 in the final match in Leeds.
Blundell’s efforts in that series were only second to Mitchell’s, who scored 538 runs in the series at an average of 107. He became the 15th New Zealand men’s player to score a Test century at Lord’s, putting on a record 236-run partnership with Blundell, before going on to score 190 in Nottingham. A third century came in Leeds, making Mitchell the fifth New Zealand player to score hundreds in three successive Tests. Only Graham Gooch has scored more runs in a three-match Test series in England, and only he and Don Bradman have scored centuries in each of their first three Tests of a series in England as visiting batters.
Potts made his Test debut after a stellar start to the County Championship for Durham. He took his career-best first-class figures of 7-40 against Glamorgan before being selected for England’s first Test against New Zealand. He took another seven wickets on his Test debut two weeks later, snaring Kane Williamson with his fifth ball in international cricket. At the end of the summer, he had taken 20 wickets in five Test matches and became the first England-qualified bowler to take six or more six-wicket-hauls in a County Championship season.
The Cricketer of the Year award is the oldest individual award in cricket and dates back to 1889. Selection is based primarily, but not exclusively, on the influence the player had on the previous English season. No one can win the award more than once.
Stokes was named the Leading Cricketer in the World (Men) after leading England in a remarkable Test match run of success. He was appointed Test captain ahead of a summer which saw England’s approach transformed into a no-fear juggernaut. They recorded victories over New Zealand, India and South Africa in emphatic style. He also led England to a historic series victory in Pakistan and was part of the victorious T20 World Cup winning squad.
Mooney came back from a broken jaw to play in a memorable Ashes Test match in Canberra. She suffered the injury less than two weeks before the match, but still top scored in Australia’s second innings with 63. She went on to average over 100 in ODIs in 2022, including scoring a half-century in the final of the World Cup – which Australia won for the seventh time – and was part of the gold medal-winning Commonwealth Games squad.
Yadav became only the second player to score 1,000 T20I runs in a calendar year in 2022. He also scored two centuries in the format, against England in Nottingham and New Zealand at Mount Maunganui. The most remarkable part of his year, however, was his strike rate, which sits at an incredible 187.43 from 31 innings.
The 2023 edition of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack is out now