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Pat Cummins first Australian in 12 years to win Wisden’s player of the year award

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Pat Cummins of Australia is Wisden’s cricketer of the year.
Camera IconPat Cummins of Australia is Wisden’s cricketer of the year. Credit: DARREN ENGLAND/AAPIMAGE

Leading his team to victory in the World Test Championship and ODI World Cup in the same year has earnt Australian captain Pat Cummins one of cricket’s ultimate awards, named cricket bible Wisden’s leading cricketer in the world.

Cummins is the first Australian in 12 years to receive the honour, with batting star Travis Head also recognised for the year’s best performance in Test matches, and Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Starc and Ashleigh Gardner among the almanac’s five cricketers of the year.

In the hours after his Sunrisers Hyderabad team recorded the highest score in Indian Premier League history, 3-287, Cummins was recognised for an outstanding 2023 that included retaining the Ashes in England, with his matchwinning effort at Edgbaston crucial to that.

Cummins took over from English counterpart Ben Stokes, who has won the prestigious title three times in the last four years. The Cricketer of the Year award is the oldest individual award in cricket and dates back to 1889, with selection primarily based on performances in the previous English summer.

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The last Australian winner was Michael Clarke.

Head, who smashed a 41-ball century for Cummins and Sunrisers overnight, was rewarded for his “pulsating” 163 off just 174 balls in the World Test Championship final at The Oval that propelled Australia to victory over India.

The left-handed dynamo was equally as damaging in the IPL, conceded that his batting style was “not the prettiest thing in the world”, but he continues to get the job done.

Reigning Belinda Clarke award winner Gardner was the sole player from the women’s Ashes chosen after taking 12 wickets in the one-off Test in Nottingham, including 8-66 in the fourth innings.

“Having been player of the tournament as Australia won the T20 World Cup in South Africa, Ashleigh Gardner enjoyed a central role in their retention of the Ashes, helping them to victory in the Test match at Trent Bridge with 12 wickets for her off-breaks – the second-best analysis in women’s Test history,” Wisden editor Lawrence Booth said.

Pat Cummins has had an outstanding year as a bowler and as a captain.
Camera IconPat Cummins has had an outstanding year as a bowler and as a captain. Credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Khawaja was recognised following an outstanding Ashes series in England, which he finished as the leading run scorer, having scored 496 runs at an average of 49.60, including a century in the first Test at Edgbaston.

Starc too was similarly recognised for his 23 Ashes wickets, the most of any bowler in the series, despite missing the opening game.

The women’s award for leading cricketer went to Nat Sciver-Brunt, the first Englishwoman to win an award previously dominated by Australians.

Originally published as Pat Cummins first Australian in 12 years to win Wisden’s player of the year award

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