India's cricket captain Virat Kohli. (Image: Reuters)
England's Ben Stokes has been chosen as Wisden’s leading cricketer in
the world for the second consecutive year. Among others India's Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli featured in the list of greatest ODI player.
In the 158th Edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2021, the five cricketers of the year were chosen as Zak Crawley, Jason Holder, Mohammad Rizwan, Dominic Sibley and Darren Stevens.
On the occasion to mark the 50 years of ODIs, Wisden named its greatest player for each decade. In the list West Indies' Viv Richards was named greatest player from 1970's, while India's Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar were named greatest players for 1980s and 1990s respectively.
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For 2000s, Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan was named the greatest player and for the decade starting 2010, India's Virat Kohli was chosen as the greatest player.
"Virat Kohli turned himself into the greatest judge of a one-day chase in history. In the 2010s, he notched up 11,125 ODI runs, nearly 3,000 clear of the next player in the list, Rohit Sharma. He made 42 centuries at an average of 60 and a strike-rate of 94. And in successful run-chases, he averaged an astonishing 95," Wisden editor Lawrence Booth said.
Among other details, Booth said that Darren Stevens has been named as cricketer of the year at 44, while Australia's Steve Waugh wins the cricket photograph of the year award. West Indies' Kieron Pollard was named leading Twenty20 cricketer in the world while Australia's Beth Mooney became the leading woman cricketer in the world.
Booth also mentioned the hurdles in cricket due to the COVID-19 in 2020. "Cricket has never been less important than in 2020 – and never more. As coronavirus spread, it seemed frivolous to wonder when the season might start, or whether anyone would be there to watch; months later, with the UK’s death toll into six figures, even writing about runs and wickets felt wrong," he added.